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(Francis Parker Yockey)

To the hero of the Second World War

Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker


FOREWORD — p. xlv


Perspective — 3
The Two Aspects of History — 17
The Relativity of History — 21
The Meaning of Facts — 25
The Demise of the Linear View of History — 29
The Structure of History — 38
Pessimism — 46
The Civilization-Crisis — 58
Darwinism — 66
Marxism — 78
Freudianism — 89
The Scientific-Technical World-Outlook — 98
The Imperative of Our Age — 110


Introduction — 123
The Nature of Politics — 127
The War-Politics Symbiosis — 137
The Laws of Totality and Sovereignty — 152
The Pluralistic State — 157
The Law of Constancy of Inter-Organismic Power — 160
The Law of Constancy of Intra-Organismic Power — 163
The Political Pluriverse — 166
League of Nations — 170
The Inner Aspect of the Law of Sovereignty — 175
Political Organisms and War — 183
The Law of Political Plenum — 190
The Law of Protection and Obedience — 194
Internationale — 198
The Two Political Anthropologies — 204
Liberalism — 208
Democracy — 224
Communism — 231
Association and Dissociation of Forms of Thought and Action — 234


Introduction — 245
The Articulation of a Culture — 250
Tradition and Genius — 261
Genius — 265
Genius and the Age of Absolute Politics — 270
Race, People, Nation, State — 273
Subjective Meaning of Race — 292
Horizontal Race v. Vertical Race — 300
Race and Policy — 304
People — 317
Nation — 328
Nation and History — 334
Nation and Rationalism — 338
Nation in the 20th Century — 348
State — 354


Culture Pathology — 369

Culture Parasitism — 376
Culture Distortion — 402
Culture Retardation as a Form of Culture Distortion — 410
Culture Distortion Arising from Parasitic Activity — 416


Introduction — 443
The Origins of America — 445
The American Ideology — 450
The War of Secession 1861-1865 — 458
The American Practice of Government — 463
The History of American Imperialism — 472
American Imperialism in the Age of Annihilation Wars — 482
The American Revolution of 1933 — 493
World-Outlook — 502
The Negro in America — 512
Culture-Retardation in America — 517
Propaganda — 524
The Conduct of American Foreign Affairs from 1933 — 535
The Future of America — 549


The Political World — 561

The First World War — 565
The Second World War — 571
Russia — 578
Japan — 587
America — 591
The Terror — 596
The Abyss — 607
Imperium — 612

INDEX — p. 621

Much has been said already about this unique and disturbing book, but
this much is reasonably certain: A thousand times more is yet to be said.
Imperium is the first sequel the literary world knows to Spengler’s
monumental The Decline of the West.
In fact, the author of Imperium does more than even Spengler
attempted — he defines and creates the pathology of Culture in all of its
infinitely urgent importance, including the discipline of Cultural Vitalism.
Imperium rejects the Nineteenth Century: the parched fossils of its
thought — Marx, Freud and the scientific-technical world outlook; its
exhausted political nostrums — the pluralistic state, liberalism, democracy,
communism, internationalism; all of which fail to satisfy the organically
vital realities of politics.
Imperium presents unique and almost esoteric political, social and
historical definitions and explanations which shall become more widely
known — indeed, commonly understood — if our West survives.
Imperium is probably the first book to advocate European unification
— to dogmatically predict it — in terms other than the crassly materialistic.
Imperium is the first comprehensive and profoundly constructive
alternative to the Marxist-liberal degeneracy surrounding us.
Imperium is the creation of a man who believed in his Destiny — and
in this book — so thoroughly that he became a martyr to it.
Imperium is written with a dramatic style and flair for expression
seldom encountered even in novels.
Yet rising above all else is the simple fact that in Imperium a creative
genius has given the world something new: A fourth dimension of intellect
and a new concept of spirituality. Imperium heralds the dawn of a new day
of Faith.
Among all books, therefore, Imperium has a distinct status. Hardly a
man alive will agree with all it contains, yet will not find his personal
horizons extended by the reading of it.
The original two volumes are here combined, unabridged, into one,
with a brilliant Introduction by W. A. Carto.

Dimly, I could make out the form of this man — this strange and
lonely man — through the thick wire netting. Inwardly, I cursed these heavy
screens that prevented our confrontation. For even though our mutual host
was the San Francisco County Jail, and even though the man upon whom I
was calling was locked in equality with petty thieves and criminals, I knew
that I was in the presence of a great force, and I could feel History standing
aside me.
Yesterday, the headlines had exploded their sensational discovery.
screamed. A man of mystery — of wickedness — had been captured. A
man given to dark deeds and — much worse — forbidden thoughts, too, the
journalists squealed. A man who had roamed the earth on mysterious
missions and who was found to be so dangerous that his bail was set at
$50,000 — a figure ten or twenty times the normal bail for passport fraud.
The excitement of the newspapers and the mystery of it all seemed to
indicate that this desperado was an international gangster, or a top
communist agent.

At least, this is what the papers hinted. But I know now that it erred in many
ways, this “free press” of ours.
I know now that the only real crime of Francis Parker Yockey was to
write a book, and for this he had to die.


It is always impossible, of course, to come to grips with the essence of

greatness. There are the known facts of a great life, but facts are dead and
almost mute when we seek the essential reality of a creative personality. But
let us review some of the facts we know of a life which is at once significant,
fascinating and tragic.
Francis Parker Yockey was born in Chicago in 1917. He attended
American universities, taking a B.A. degree in 1938 and, three years later, a
degree in law from Notre Dame, where he was graduated cum laude.
From earliest childhood, Yockey was recognized for his prodigious
abilities, and resented for them by many. History may reveal that the
combination of originality and high intelligence in rare individuals is
essential for human progress, but we mortals find these qualities more
admired in biographies than in classmates, friends and underlings.
Yockey was a concert-level pianist; he was a gifted writer. He studied
languages and became a linguist. As a lawyer, he never lost a case. He had
an extraordinary grasp of the world of finance — and this is surprising, for
we learn that in his philosophy economics is relegated to a relatively
unimportant position. And it is as the Philosopher that Yockey reached the
summit; it is this for which he will be remembered; he was a man of
incredible vision. Even so, his personality was spiced by the precious gift of
a sense of humor.
Like the great majority of Americans, Yockey opposed American
intervention in the Second World War. Nevertheless, he

joined the army and served until 1942 when he received a medical discharge
(honorable). The next few years were spent in the practice of law, first in
Illinois and subsequently in Detroit, where he was appointed Assistant
County Attorney for Wayne County, Michigan.
In 1946, Yockey was offered a job with the war crimes tribunal and
went to Europe. He was assigned to Wiesbaden, where the “second string”
Nazis were lined up for trial and punishment. The Europe of 1946 was a
war-ravaged continent, not the prosperous land we know today. Viewing the
carnage, and seeing with his own eyes the visible effects of the unspeakable
Morgenthau Plan which had as its purpose the starvation of 30 million
Germans, and which was being put into effect at that time, he no doubt
found ample reinforcement for his conviction that American involvement in
the war had been a ghastly mistake. And feeling the might of the sinister
power in the East, he might well have wondered whose interests were being
served by such a “victory.”
As Senator Robert A. Taft and many other responsible and thinking
men of the day who had the courage to state their convictions, Yockey
concluded that the entire procedure of the “war crimes trials” was serving
the interests — and was meant to serve the interests — of international
communism. The use of torture, doctored evidence and ex-post-facto law
before a court which was judge, jury, prosecutor and defense were merely
part of the preposterous juridical aspects. Of even more importance was the
reversion to barbarism which was inherent in the spectacle — a reversion so
pointedly explored later by Britisher F. J. P. Veale in Advance to Barbarism.
For eleven months, Yockey’s duty in Wiesbaden was to prepare
reports on the various cases. Having a long view of history, he tried to do an
objective job. Finally, in Washington, someone complained, and his
superior called him on the carpet. “We don’t want this type of report,” he
was told. “This has entirely the

wrong slant. You’ll have to rewrite these reports to conform with the
official viewpoint.”
Yockey felt that the time had come to take a stand, even if it meant to
break with conformity and plunge into the lonely waters of social ostracism.
“I am a lawyer, not a journalist,” he said, “you’ll have to write your own
propaganda”; and he quit on the spot.
After Wiesbaden, he returned to America for five months. But
following this taste of weltpolitik he was unable to settle down. He could
not ignore an insistent feeling that he must immolate himself in the flames of
controversy. And this conviction so destroyed his peace of mind that he
knew he had no choice.
It was late 1947 when Yockey returned to Europe. He sought out a
quiet inn at Brittas Bay, Ireland. Isolated, he struggled to begin. Finally, he
started to write, and in six months — working entirely without notes —
Francis Parker Yockey completed Imperium.
The formidable task of publishing it was the next step. Here, also,
Yockey ran into serious problems, for no publisher would touch the book, it
being too “controversial.” Hungry publishers of our advanced day know
that any pile of trash, filth, sex, sadism, perversion and sickness will sell
when wrapped between two gaudy covers and called a book, but under no
circumstances may they allow readers to come into contact with a serious
work unless it contains the standard obeisances to the catchwords of
equality, democracy and universal brotherhood.
Finally, however, Yockey was able to secure the necessary financing,
and production began.
The first edition of Imperium was issued in two volumes. Volume I
has 405 pages and three chapters. Volume II has 280 pages and also three
chapters. Both were published in 1948 in the name of Westropa Press.
Volume I was printed by C. A. Brooks & Co., Ltd. and Volume II by Jones
& Dale — both of London. Both volumes measure 5 x 7¼ inches in
dimensions and have a red

dust jacket with the title in black script on a white held. The cover of
Volume I is tan and that of Volume II is black.
It is known that 1,000 copies of Volume I, but only 200 copies of
Volume II, were finished. The discrepancy in quantity and the change in
printers point to the difficulty in financing the job. Copies of the first edition
are, of course, virtually unobtainable today.
The rarest combination in man is that of the philosopher and man of
action. When Yockey tried his hand at political organization he proved that
he was no exception to the rule — or was it that the times then were too out
of joint with the future for a constructive movement to be started?
Organizing the European Liberation Front in 1949, he and friends issued a
manifesto called The Proclamation of London. But outside of getting beaten
up in Hyde Park, nothing much happened. And here again he encountered
the old trouble. Even among the forward-looking intellectuals and
individualists who were his co-workers, his brilliance shone through. He
was resented, and the effort soon collapsed.
His money and immediate hopes gone, Yockey procured a job with
the Red Cross. He resigned in 1951 and traveled throughout Europe.
In 1952 the State Department refused to renew his passport.
Repeatedly, he applied; each time he was rejected. A game then developed
between the FBI and Yockey, for the FBI had received orders to keep him
under surveillance at all times. This is a pattern which has since become
obvious to vigorous anti-communists in all parts of the United States,
especially in the South. When Yockey’s whereabouts was known, the FBI
would watch him night and day. When he dropped temporarily from sight,
as he did frequently, his friends and relatives and contacts were constantly
interrogated by agents who — they kept repeating — “just want to talk to
And this was undoubtedly the truth. This is all they wanted to do.
They just wanted to know where he was, what he was doing,

whom he was seeing, what he was saying and where he was going next.
Why, you ask? Why all the interest in Francis Parker Yockey, author?
He himself gave the answer to a friend. “My enemies have evaluated me
better than my friends,” he said, and it was true.


And as I peered through the thick screens in the San Francisco Jail,
and made out the indefinite shape on the other side, that tenth day of June,
1960, I knew that I would have to help the prisoner as best I could. I could
do nothing else.
I have read your book, I said to the shadow, and I want to help you.
What can I do?
Wait, he said. Wait, and do as your conscience tells you.
The following week was full of news of Yockey’s appearance before
Rabbi Joseph Karesh, the U.S. Commissioner.
Twice, I attended the hearings, and each time was fascinated by this
man, Yockey. In stature he was about five feet, ten inches. He was light of
weight, perhaps 145 pounds, and quick on his feet. His hair was dark, and
starting to grey. The expression on his face — pensive, sensitive, magnetic
— this was the unforgettable thing. It was his eyes, I think. Dark, with a
quick and knowing intelligence. His eyes bespoke great secrets and
knowledge and such terrible sadness. As he turned to leave, one time, those
eyes quickly searched the room, darting from face to face with a sort of
desperation, though the expression on his face of a determined resignation
never wavered. What was he looking for? In that lions’ den, what else but a
friendly countenance? As his gaze swept across, and then to me, he stopped
and for the space of a fractional second, spoke to me with his eyes. In that
instant we understood that I would not desert him.
Friday morning, June 17, I arose as usual. I heard the radio announcer
pronounce words that stunned me.

Yockey was dead.

“I’ll sleep through ‘til morning” was the cryptic message he gave his
cellmate, last night. Was the morning he anticipated the dawn of a new age?
A garbled note was found. The coroner declared it suicide and said
the poison was potassium cyanide. No one knew where he had gotten it.
The case was closed.
As Americans, we have been taught from infancy to believe that we
live in a free country. But times change, and America has become
transformed in many ways. Often, the old formalities are observed, but the
meaning and inner reality of America has changed, and no one saw this
more clearly than Francis Parker Yockey. How the press, for example, loves
to brag to its victims — its readers — about its freedom. Yes, the press may
be free to lie and distort and suppress and deceive and malign, but is it free
to tell the truth?
The spectacle of a man being persecuted, framed and driven to his
death simply because he wrote a book is not one we would expect to see in
the Twentieth Century in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
But are we free when an American citizen whose only crime was to
write a book is denied a passport by the State Department — a privilege
which is given to all but the most notorious degenerates and criminals? It
was not until April 24, 1962 that the State Department finally got around to
beginning hearings to deny passports to the most important communists —
but the “free press” somehow forgot to report at the time that no report of a
confidential nature from the FBI or any other source would be used against a
communist unless he was given the “right” of confrontation with his accuser.
And, of course, the right of appeal would be scrupulously honored, even
Are we free when a citizen can be arrested without a warrant and held
in jail without charges, but with the fantastic bail of $50,000 levied against
him? Are we free when the vultures of the

“frees press” can swoop down upon the victim to heap calumny and scorn
upon his head and accuse him of doing things he never did and saying things
he never said in an effort to build up “public opinion” against him? Is
America a free country when a sensitive genius can be held in the filthiest of
jails with Negro and White criminals and is denied even clean clothes and a
bath? Are we free when such a “criminal” is not allowed to see his sisters in
private, and when a group which has supposedly been set up to defend the
constitutional rights of citizens — the American Civil Liberties Union —
would rather defend the “rights” of homosexuals, traitors, murderers and
pornographers than a sincere patriot like Francis Parker Yockey, whose
every thought and effort was in behalf of his fellow man? Are we free, I
ask, when a judge can rule that a prisoner is not to have a “speedy and public
trial by an impartial jury…,” as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, but, instead,
must have a mental examination for the obvious purpose of eliminating a
jury trial altogether? And finally, are we free when another group — vastly
more powerful than the ACLU or the government itself — so powerful,
indeed, that men dare not speak its name above a whisper, unless in terms of
the most groveling praise — are we free when this group is able to dictate to
the government the exact procedure which is to be used in disposing of
troublemakers like Francis Parker Yockey?
If such things as I have enumerated can happen — and they did —
then our vaunted “freedom” is a fake thing; an empty word given to us by
our watchful masters to keep us amused and quiet — as a parent gives a
shiny bauble to a child.
It is enlightening to review the standard means whereby our masters
combat positive ideas and movements. There is a pattern in such tactics
which constructive forces will do well to study. The first tactic is
suppression and determined non-recognition of the rebel and his works. The
press will unanimously give the well-known “silent treatment.” Even at this
early stage, if the movement gives promise of becoming significant,
assassination is

considered and carried out if possible. The murder of young Newton

Armstrong, Jr., in San Diego, on the night of March 31, 1962, is a case in
point. Quoting from Che Guevara’s book on guerrilla warfare and the
question of when to resort to assassination:

It is generally against the policy of the Communist Party to

resort to assassination. ... However, it requires two criteria and a
high-level policy decision. ... The criteria for the individual in
question are that he must be highly effective and it mast serve some
sort of example — some sort of a highly effective example.

The next tactic is the Smear through libel, distortion,

misrepresentation and the sowing of confusion wherever possible. This may
be a negative smear with the purpose of destroying the effectiveness of an
enemy or a positive smear for the purpose of building a haze around the
truth to enable a disintegrative movement to develop. The falsification of
the truth about Castro, which was indulged in by virtually all of the press
and, of course, the State Department, is a classic example of this. The
Smear is usually started as an underground whispering campaign that
viciously builds up to an outright and overt campaign, with the “free press”
called into play. The object is to isolate enemies of the present regime and
discredit them. The third tactic is infiltration into the movement and/or the
building up of false leadership in order to sabotage the movement at the
optimum time, meanwhile diverting patriot energies into harmless or
controlled activities. The fourth and final stage is called upon only as a last
resort, after the movement or philosophy has become institutionalized and is
immune to grosser tactics. This is to “interpret” it so as to bring it as closely
as possible into conformity with approved patterns. (Characteristically, the
conflicting philosophies of both Jesus Christ and Friedrich Nietzsche have
suffered this deadening interpretation.) Two or more of the above maneuvers
are usually used simultaneously.

For instance, in addition to the suppression of his Imperium,Yockey was also

victimized by the Smear; and he was also in danger of assassination — and
his enigmatic end settled the problem. Now it is with no gift of prophecy
that one may predict that this present republication of his work will call forth
the same sequence.
I tell you that the injustice of it all is enough to drive one mad.
How can a man stomach the cynical or ignorant drivel of the liberals
as they whine for “freedom of speech” and “right to dissent” and
shake their bony fists at “conformity” and all the rest of their
legerdemain when one knows that these moral cripples and ethical
perverts demand their peculiar freedoms only for those who are
working to destroy the West? We have seen their reaction when one
committed to saving the West is in need of some of their medicine.
It was like a certain wise, old reporter whispered to one of Yockey’s
sisters as she slumped tearfully and quietly in her solitude. “Your brother is
a martyr — the first of a long line of them if we are to take back our country
from those who have stolen it from us.”
A surprising word on the Yockey affair came some weeks after his
death, and was provided by the tight-lipped silence of the man who had been
charged with railroading him to the insane asylum, the United States
Attorney. Suddenly, inexplicably, he resigned his job, left his wife and
children and joined a monastery.
Let us assume that at least one devoted servant of the Democracy has
a conscience, even if displayed a little late.


Please allow me to expose to you my prejudice so that there will be no

misunderstanding I favor the survival of our Western cultural organism. I
love those who fight for the integrity of the

West, whoever they may be. And, as much as I fear and mistrust the outer
enemies of the West, I despise our inner enemies and the cowards who
support them far more — and I hate their putrid doctrine that calls our
continuing degradation “inevitable.”
Further, I believe that the West can survive. It all hinges on faith:
faith in our future; faith in our superiority and survival. Skepticism,
sophistication, cosmopolitanism, cynicism has destroyed the old faith, and it
has not been replaced by a new one. But faith is and will always remain the
essential ingredient in every historical force. Only a unifying faith can
provide the common motivation for survival — the just and deep conviction
of our right to live — and spark the single-minded and intolerant power
which can clean and redeem our fast-decaying, rotting milieu. Very simply:
the imperative of inspiring that faith is the central problem of our time.
And when I say, “survive,” I mean nothing more. For we are so far
gone; our philosophies, liberties and cultural patterns are so perverted or
eroded that bare survival is all that is possible. I mean to say that those who
are to save the West must realize at the outset that only part of it can be
saved; that much must be sacrificed and that the resulting structure will be
different from the past. Those who have gone before have allowed the dank
“winds of change” to corrode the old life, and many weeds have sprung up
which cannot entirely be eliminated. It is one thing to fight for an attainable
ideal, but another to sacrifice for a lost cause. In determining what is
attainable and what is forever lost a philosophy of history is needed.
And although our job is to rebuild we must not lose sight of the
reality, for we cannot rebuild until we have captured. Political power is the
essential criterion, not wishes or windbags; and to the goal of political power
all else must be temporarily sacrificed. To say less is to insure defeat. He
who is on board a sinking ship in a storm may be required to throw all his
possessions overboard if this is necessary for common survival. Or, to use
another image:

Those who would guide the West back across the Styx and out of the dark
must travel first through the gates of Hell.
The practical problem of the recapture of political power divides itself
into other questions. For one, is it possible to formulate an ethic and faith
which, in itself, offers at least as much popular attractiveness as the painted
lie of Marx? For another, how can those who would naturally lead such a
movement compete with the highly-developed Leninistic operational
diabolism in the perpetually savage and untamable jungle of political
warfare — or is it necessary to do so? After all, the conspiracy we face is
the hideous monster spawned of four millenniums of experience in guile and
deception; so much so, in fact, that its main ally always has been the obtuse
blindness of those on whom it feeds. “Struggle” to a man of the West means
bullets, armies, and aircraft carriers. But to our enemy, international wars
are of little meaning; “struggle” to him means not war but politics, and
accordingly he has perfected his weapons in this most decisive of areas.
Soldiers have never made good politicians, and, by the nature of their
respective crafts, the soldier must always lose to the man of politics.
Finally comes the main consideration in formulating such a doctrine:
will it certainly eradicate the politico-social evils and diseases of our day
and lead mankind toward a better world?
It is by this standard and no other that you will, if you are wise, judge
the work of Francis Parker Yockey.
To quit the search for such an ethic is to abandon history like the
intellectual and spiritual nihilists — the liberals and beatniks. To quit the
search is to turn over to the inner enemy carte blanche control over our
lives, souls and fate.
The failure to provide this philosophy is not alone the fault of the
saprophytes among us, however. Nor is it only the fault of the chameleon-
like inner enemy of the West (the Culture Distorter, to use Yockey’s apt
term) which mercilessly persecutes and smashes all who dare to cry out
against our rapid decline and

degeneration; in all truth, it is mainly the fault of the many thousands who
fully know the issues at stake yet have not the moral courage to identify and
fight the Culture Distorter; or — worse yet — who have, by diligent self-
persuasion, convinced themselves that the battle for survival against an
enemy that demands nothing less than total surrender can be fought and won
with tax-deductible corporations, measured, “moderate” words and
avoidance of “extremists.” These dainty combatants swarm over every anti-
communist movement like ants on sugar. By shrilly demonstrating their
anti-communism they bribe their consciences to give them peace and often
go so far as to join in the crucifixion of those few with moral courage lest
they, too, be adjudged “guilty” by association. America has too many of
such anti-communists and too few real patriots.
There is much in Imperium which can be easily misinterpreted. There
is something for everyone to agree with. And there is something for
everyone to disagree with. This is a distinguishing characteristic of every
truly vital and revolutionary departure.
Yockey’s criticism of Darwinism is an example of the first possibility,
and it should be borne in mind that he is speaking of journalistic Darwinism,
not the theory of evolution. A related point is his usage of the word, race. It
would have added to clarity if another word, such as nobility, was used to
describe those who feel the Imperative of the Age, for the genetic
interpretation of race is a necessary, useful and valid one if we are to see all
of our problems clearly and accurately. Also, Yockey cites some tests of
doubtful validity when he asserts that children of immigrants into America
are quite different in anthropological measurements than their parents.
There is no doubt some truth to this; there are bodily differences caused by
food and climate, but such conclusions can be carried into the realm of
Lysenkoism unless great caution is used. Troyfim Lysenko is the Russian
communist quack and high priest who “proved” through his hocus-pocus
that environment and not heredity creates the man. Such a theory is the

basic fallacy upon which the entire communist theory of man rests, though
few people realize this. But heredity is a matter of genes and genes never
change except through mutation unless genes of one type (race) are mixed
with genes of another type (race). One of the best books on the subject to
appear recently is Dr. Conway Zirkle’s Evolution, Marxian Biology and the
Social Scene. Evolution, biology and genetic inheritance must be treated as
matters of life-facts, and any theory for the future has to accept them.
Yockey’s usage of the word authority may be a source of
misinterpretation. It should be remembered that the individual enjoyed far
more liberty in Europe under the monarchs than in America, today.
Doubters should familiarize themselves with Edmund Burke, Thomas
Carlyle, Herbert Spencer, and the more recent work of Otto von Habsburg,
The Social Order of Tomorrow. It is sure that by the use of this word, he
does not mean Marxist-type collectivization.
Some readers have raised the question of Yockey’s apparent anti-
Russianism, and a clarifying word is necessary here. In later writings,
Yockey made his views on Russia more clear; in fact, certain of his captors
called him “anti-American and pro-Russian,” during his San Francisco
ordeal. Although this libel was of course vomited for the benefit of gullible
newspaper readers, it shows that some of his later writings could have been
misinterpreted as being pro-Russian, just as Imperium indicates an anti-
Russian attitude. Of course, Yockey was neither pro- nor anti-Russian; he
was concerned with the health and continuity of the West, and his view of
the rest of the world was at all times subjective to what he considered in the
best interests of the West at that time.
Accusations of “anti-Semitism,” unless the imprecation is meant as
simply having an open mind on the Jewish question, should be interpreted
on the same level. The fact that he was captured in the home of a Jewish
friend — even though that friend subsequently repudiated him — is
instructive to the truth here.

Comment could be made on dozens of the brilliant thoughts and

concepts presented in Imperium, such as, for one example, his relegating
economics to its proper level — organically, the alimentary tract. His
advocacy of European unification, long before this idea had gained any
headway, is another case in point. This is perhaps a proof of his assertion
that things that are considered “extreme” today are the dogmas of tomorrow;
the genius lives in the future, as he says, and whereas he used to be
considered merely a little “odd” by his contemporaries, and avoided or
tolerantly humored (unless, that is, he incurred the righteous wrath of the
Church, in which case things could be made very hot for him) he is today
declared by modern Freudianism to be mentally ill and unfit for the ancient
protections of law; and this is surely indicative of the “progress” we have
made in a thousand years.
The significance of the pseudonym Yockey chose as author of
Imperium, Ulick Varange, should be noted. Ulick is an Irish given name,
derived from Danish, and means “reward of the mind.” Varange, of course,
refers to the Varangians, that far-roving band of Norse heroes led by Rurik
who, upon invitation from the Slavs, came to civilize Russia in the 9th
Century, built the Russian Imperial State and formed the gifted and
handsome Russian aristocracy until they were butchered by the Bolsheviks
— along with some 20 million other Christians and Moslems — in that
bloody terror. The name, therefore, drawn as it is from the Eastern and
Western antipodes of Europe, signifies a Europe united “from the rocky
promontories of Galway to the Urals,” as he, himself, exhorts. Finally, the
surname, Varange, by itself signifies the Western origin of historic Russia.
Imperium throughout is — again as the author says — not a book in
the sense that it presents argument. It is prophetic; the work of an intuitive
seer. You will find no bibliography or footnotes in Imperium for this reason
in spite of the vast reading that the author has obviously done. And it is
prophetic not only in the large historical sense, for could Yockey have been
thinking of himself

and predicting his own violent end when he stresses that the prophets of a
new age often come to unnatural deaths? Twice this thought is brought out
— once in the chapter THE ARTICULATION OF A CULTURE, and again,
Another interesting and mysterious fact about the manuscript he
completed at Brittas Bay and that you now hold in your hand is that it is
“keyed” so that, if the secret code can be discovered, the author’s name is
spelled. Thus, the question of authenticity which is always raised about a
great work after the author dies cannot ever be a problem with Imperium.


It is important to seek the origins of Yockey’s philosophy, for all are

compelled to build on the backs of those who have gone before and to see
the past clearly is to understand more fully. With more exaggeration than
accuracy, Yockey states, “There is nothing original in the content of this
A grounding in Oswald Spengler is fundamental to understanding
Yockey; in fact, it can be said that Imperium is really a sequel to Spengler’s
monumental The Decline of the West. Spengler, of course, is persona non
grata to prevailing “intellects” for reasons that become very clear to any
reader of Decline, so this revival of his influence — an inevitable revival,
I’ll add — will be a great shock to the tender minds of the beatniks, liberals
and communists who have sucked at the dry pap of historical conformity for
so long. These intellectual infants are always very eager to assure us that
Spengler is “repudiated,” a favorite semantic weapon of theirs, used
regularly whenever they wish to avoid discussing issues and facts.
But Oswald Spengler — “the philosopher of the Twentieth Century,”
as Yockey calls him — along with Gregor Mendel, Thomas Malthus and
Charles Darwin — has shown us the pattern of the world of yesterday and
the outline of it in the future, for better or

for worse. Each of these giants is primary in his own field of study, and to
study history while rejecting Spengler is quite as foolish as studying disease
and rejecting the germ theory, or studying mathematics and rejecting
numbers. The pathetic intellectual nihilists, materialists, equalists and do-
gooders may yap, yap at the heels of Spengler until they are hoarse, but
History cannot hear them.
“In this book is attempted for the first time the venture of
predetermining history…” Spengler opens Decline, and follows it with two
thick volumes of delightful and profound excursions into world history, war,
philosophy, poetry, music, art, politics, religion, even mathematics.
Perhaps the best synopsis of Spengler — if there can be such a thing
— has been done by Egon Friedell in his A Cultural History of the Modern
Age, a three-volume work of which, incidentally, Yockey was very fond.
Says Friedell in listing significant thinkers:

Lastly, and with deep admiration, we come to the name of

Oswald Spengler, perhaps the most powerful and vivid thinker to
appear on German soil since Nietzsche. One has to climb very high in
the world’s literature to find works of such scintillating and exuberant
intellect, such triumphant psychological vision and such a personal
and suggestive, rhythmic cadence as his Decline of the West. What
Spengler gives us in his two volumes is the “outlines of a morphology
of history.” He sees, in place of the “monotonous picture of linear
world-history” the “phenomenon of a plurality of mighty Cultures.”
“Each Culture has its own new possibilities of self-expression, which
arise, ripen, decay and never return. There is not one sculpture, one
painting, one mathematic, one physics, but many, each in its deepest
essence different from the others, each limited in duration and self-
contained, just as each species of plant has its peculiar blossom or
fruit, its special type of growth and decline. These Cultures,
sublimated life-essences, grow with the same superb aimlessness as
the flowers of the field.” Cultures are

organisms, and cultural history is their biography. Spengler

establishes nine such Cultures, the Babylonian, the Egyptian, the
Indian, the Chinese, the Classical, the Arabian, the Mexican, the
Western and the Russian, and he throws light upon each in turn,
naturally not an equally bright and full light in every case, as, of
course, our information concerning them is very unequal. But in the
evolutionary course of these Cultures certain parallelisms rule, and
this leads Spengler to introduce the conception of “contemporary”
phenomena, by which he understands historical facts that, “each in its
own Culture, occur in the same — relative — positions and, therefore,
have an exactly corresponding significance.” “Contemporary,” for
example, are the rise of the Ionic and that of the Baroque; Polygnotus
and Rembrandt, Polycletus and Bach, Socrates and Voltaire are
“contemporaries.” But within the individual Culture itself, too, there
is naturally complete congruence of all its life-expressions at each of
its stages of evolution. So, for instance, there is a deep connection of
form between the Classical Polis and the Euclidean geometry,
between the space-perspective of the Western oil-painting and the
conquest of space by railways, telephones, and long-range weapons.
By means of these and like guiding principles, now Spengler arrives at
the most interesting and surprising discoveries. The “Protestant
brown” of the Dutch and the atheistic plein air of the Manet school,
the “Way” as prime symbol of the Egyptian Soul, and the “Plain” as
the leitmotiv of the Russian world-outlook, the “Magian” Culture of
the Arabs and the “Faustian” Culture of the West, the “second
religiousness” in which late Cultures revive the images of their youth,
and the “fellahdom” in which man becomes again historyless —
these, and many more like them, are unforgettable glimpses of genius
that light up for a moment vast tracts of night, incomparable
discoveries and hints of an intellect that possesses a truly creative eye
for analogies. That the Cimmerians of learning have opposed to such
a work nothing but stolidity

and a deaf incomprehension of what his questions and answers are

about is not surprising to anyone who knows the customs and
mentality of the republic of scholarship.

Spengler published Decline in July, 1918, and we are still being

washed in the very first breakwaters of that titanic event. For The Decline of
the West was fully as revolutionary to the study of history in 1918 as
Copernicus’ theory of heliocentricity was to the study of astronomy in 1543.
What, we may ask, is the main cause of resistance to accepting
Spengler aside from the fact that he is a massive roadblock to the total
victory of the marxist-liberal “intellectual”? The main difficulties, I think,
are two: the necessity of acknowledging the essentially alien nature of every
cultural soul, and the apparent necessity to reconcile ourselves to the dismal
fact that our own Western organism must, too, die as have all those which
have passed before.
Paradoxically, the fundamental problem of the second difficulty lies in
the very Faustian Soul of the West which Spengler himself defined: “The
Faustian Soul — whose prime symbol is pure and limitless space,” he said;
and it is true, for we need, in our innermost being, the perpetual reach to
infinity. The idea of unlimited progress flows from this spiritual reality; this
is a concept which is deeply and inextricably imbedded in every man of the
West. Thus, the thought of inevitable death draws a fundamental rejection
and is called pessimism.
As for the first specific difficulty, the acknowledgment of the
essentially alien nature of each cultural soul, it follows that if every culture
has its own inner vitality, it will be uninfluenced by the spirit of any other.
This also runs against the very deepest grain of Western man who, for five
hundred years and more, has been proselyting men all over the world in the
vain hope of making them over into his own beloved image.
This psychological block runs deep in the West — so deep that

it is an error which is apparent in all philosophical strata, certainly not only

the leftist variety. Name any philosopher, economist or religious adept of
Western history, except Hegel* (yes, even including Spengler) and you are
virtually certain to find a man who sought to lay universal laws of human
behavior; who, in other words, saw no essential difference between races.
This error is so fundamental it is usually unconscious. (What would Lord
Keynes, for example, do with his “universal” theory of oversaving if he were
to try to apply it to Ghana or Haiti?) The Roman Catholic Church is a case in
point. Tradition-minded Westerners rightly speak of the Church as being a
bulwark of the West, but sometimes go so far as to identify the Church as
the West. Unfortunately, the compliment is not returned. The Holy Roman
Church is a universal Church — one Church for all men — which sees all
people, wherever they are and whoever they be, as equal human souls whose
bodies are to be brought to the holy embrace of Vatican City. It is the first
to reject the impious suggestion that it owes a primary loyalty to the West.
Scientific and philosophical demonstrations that men and cultures are,
nevertheless, different in many fundamental respects and that it is unhealthy
— unethical — to mix

* Extracts from the interesting Introduction to Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s

Philosophy of History:
“The peculiarly African character is difficult to comprehend, for the very reason
that in reference to it we must quite give up the principle which accompanies all our ideas
— the category of Universality. ... Another characteristic fact in reference to the Negro is
slavery… Bad as this may be, their lot in their own land is even worse, since a slavery
there quite as absolute exists; for it is the essential principle of slavery, that man has not
yet attained to a consciousness of his own freedom, and consequently sinks down to a
mere Thing — an object of no value. Among the Negro moral sentiments are quite weak,
or more strictly speaking, non-existent. Parents sell their children and conversely
children their parents, as either has the opportunity … the polygamy of the Negroes has
frequently for its object the having of many children, to be sold, every one of them, into
slavery. ... From these various traits it is manifest that want of self-control distinguishes
the character of the Negroes. This condition is capable of no development or culture, and
as we see them at this day, such have they always been. ... At this point we leave Africa,
not to mention it again. For it is no historical part of the World; it has no movement or
development to exhibit.”

them are sure to meet with the same inhospitable reception that the Church
earlier gave to Copernicus and Galileo. In April of 1962 three Catholics in
New Orleans were excommunicated for daring to stand on this heretical
A central point when thinking about this subject is the growth and
now the total supremacy of the Western idea of technics. The entire world
of science is a reflection of Western man and no other, and we have seen
Western technics conquer the world. We see our science being appropriated
to varying degrees and in varying manners by every simian Culture on the
planet which has advanced beyond the arboreal stage. The stone age Negro
denizens of Africa, Haiti, New Guinea and the southern Philippines are
fascinated by clocks, radios and even sails. When an American city wants to
get rid of its old street cars, it sells them to Amerindian Mexico. The
Semitic Arabs ride their Cadillacs and use rifles

* In his final work, History of the People of Israel, Ernest Renan said, “Socialism may
bring back by the complicity of Catholicism a new Middle Age.” And there are, indeed,
some rather horrifying straws in the wind as regards the Church’s traditional hostility
toward communism. March 7, 1963 witnessed the Pope grasping the hand of Alexi
Adzheubi, an official representative of the same Bolshevism which so far has murdered at
least 50 million patriots in Russia, China and elsewhere. What are millions to think —
Catholic and non-Catholic — who have heretofore looked upon Rome as a bulwark
against this unspeakably degenerate conspiracy? (Decent Catholics should not be too
surprised or chagrined; Protestant sects by and large were captured by the Culture
Distorter years ago.) But should the two equalitarian religions converge, compromise is
required on the part of the Communist Party, too; being totally bankrupt intellectually,
this is not too great a price. An anonymous letter supposedly written by a CP member
was reprinted in the May, 1963 Truth Seeker, a strongly anti-communist free-thought
periodical. It bears repetition:
“...The Party has soft-pedaled atheism for years and now we are dropping it
completely. Atheism divides the masses and offends all the good religious people in the
Party and who work closely with us. Fanatical atheists who insist on preaching their
views are thrown out ... confusing the political problems we have with religious matters
is asinine. By far the most progress the Party is making today is being made through the
churches.... I expect to see a complete convergence of the Catholic Church and the Party
within the next fifty years. ... The shadow of this is clearly foreshown in Poland.
Perhaps you have heard of Pax? This is a Catholic lay organization run by communist
priests… tolerated by both the Party and the Church. ... You may yet live to see the day
when the dictatorship of the proletariat will be proclaimed by the Pope!”

made in Belgium; both of which are bought with the gold of oil royalties
from Wall Street, Dallas or London. The Oriental Chinese have learned
well, and are expected to explode an atomic bomb at any moment. And
even the half-Western Russians, from the days of Peter the Great, or even
Rurik, have constructed their ships, cannon and rockets with European
engineers. But does this mass appropriation of Western technics have the
slightest effect on the inner and distinctive soul of the culture which
appropriates? The answer is no, and we should not allow our foolish pride
to think otherwise.
The other cause of rejecting Spengler lies in the difficulty of
reconciling ourselves to the apparent necessity of the death of the West as a
cultural organism.
But it is not necessary, in my opinion, to make this reconciliation. For
although a Culture is an organism, it is a peculiar one; and, by accepting the
analogy in the first place, we are able to intelligently seek for the possibility
of extending or renewing its life.
Yockey rejects this hypothesis and, as a thorough Spenglerian,
foresees the end of the West. But it can be argued that the very introduction
of the organic concept into historical philosophizing and theorizing plus the
unparalleled mastery over Nature which the West has attained — and the
infinite possibilities of this for the future — hold out the conception that the
organism of the West need not suffer the same Destiny as cultures which
have gone before and which had none of this knowledge. In other words, we
now have the proper concept, thanks to Spengler, and have, for the first time
in all history, identified the pathology of Culture, thanks to Yockey. And, in
addition, Western technics have created the equally unique physical means
to apply to the problem.
To carry this examination further, the Western Culture excels all
others in history in these areas:
(1) The obsession with fact-history.
(2) The development of the organic concept of Culture, and
recognition of its pathology.

(3) The development of science and master technics. Nearing-

subjection of the microcosm and time, and the macrocosm and space.
Let us now turn to the so-far final and, according to Spengler, the
“inevitable phase of a Culture — the imperialistic. First of all, it is in this
area that the Spenglerian theory, as applied to “the venture of
predetermining history,” appears to falter because the West appears to be
behind on the timetable. Yockey comments on this and attributes it to the
retarding influence of Money. This is probably true. The question is, if
Money can disturb the cycle, cannot other things, too?
Here may be mentioned another unique fact as regards the Western
situation. The condition of overproduction has become a fact of life that
almost all sectors of political opinion are loath to recognize. Nevertheless,
this is a fundamental departure for men, with widespread implications. Until
now, slavery was necessary to support a high standard of living. (And, of
course, slavery has always been sanctioned by religion and law when it is
economically desirable.) So were foreign conquests for exploitation. This is
no longer the case. The main economic problem for the West is to dispose
of its surplus production, not to feed and clothe its masses. (This elemental
truth is known by every so-called “laboring man” but it has escaped the
notice of theorists and economists of both Right and Left.) Overproduction
and technics, then, appear to have destroyed the economic imperative for
imperialism. Finally, the atomic bomb and its far more terroristic
descendants have infinitely diminished the use of war as an instrument of
national policy. From these points of view, imperialism as a policy of gain
is as dead as the slave trade and the battleship. And if imperialism is not to
be undertaken as a deliberate policy of gain, from what standpoint is it to be
undertaken? Religious fervor? Popular enthusiasm for capitalism? No, the
day of the Crusades is also past for the West. We shall not see the West
march to conquer the world in any other fashion but that of Wall Street’s and
the Peace

Corps’ — unless the need to dump our products finally can be resolved only
in “war, the coward’s solution for the problems of peace.”
Now if one were to object that the above considerations smack of the
causal view of history — against which Yockey inveighs — and assert that
the final phase of our Culture is subject to purely spiritual phenomena, I
should be bold to suggest the possibility of a miscalculation by Spengler
which could have been based on a misinterpretation of his own data and his
own theory which, if seen in a slightly different perspective, not only clears
up the meaning of the theory in the light of present developments, but also
validates it completely. Space permits only the barest of outlines here, at the
risk of unintelligibility to all but those initiated in the mysteries of
Spengler’s method was to show the correlation of all aspects of the
history of a cultural organism. As the Friedell quotation earlier suggests,
Spengler drew analogies between apparently diverse elements within a
Culture, all of which are given shape and meaning by the zeitgeist (spirit of
the age) which is the creation of the cultural soul in its singular Destiny.
Hence, in the search of the past he saw as the culminating stage that which
expresses itself spiritually as universalism. In the realm of religion, it
becomes a “second religiosity,” starting as a conglomeration of many sects
and cults which no one takes seriously but everyone concerns himself with.
(This is what we have today. It is called the “social gospel” and appears in a
thousand forms, profane as well as sacred. It is not true religion at all but
cultism.) Finally this anarchy stabilizes into the form of a generally-
accepted and genuine religion — and we are about 200 years away from
this. In the realm of the economic, there is “big business” and the growing
power of Money, which, however, is finally broken by the force of politics.
In art, the zeitgeist expresses itself as the importation of exotic art forms, and
inane experimentation which has no significance whatsoever

except as natural degeneracy of the native form. Finally, in foreign outlook,

there is imperialism, military expansion.
We can plainly see all of the above running true to form and right on
schedule except for the latter. Why? Simply because the subjection of
technics to the service of the West and the mastery of economics over the
West has sublimated this stage of spiritual universalism from militaristic
imperialism to other forms of expansion. Verily, never before has there
been such an aggressive army of gun-shy expansionists and pacifist
imperialists. World government fanatics literally swarm over the West.
They and others staunchly support the United Nations — an anachronism
which cannot possibly be effective toward its alleged purposes — yet
support for this harmful fossil is a matter of personal morality with millions.
The zeitgeist is always reflected in definitions, so it is the height of insult for
a White man today to be labeled an “isolationist” or “nationalist.” White
folks must all be “free traders,” “internationalists” and “cosmopolitan” in
our outlook, and how we admire the “citizen of the world,” whatever that is.
Our view is intently focused away from our marches; it is far easier, we have
discovered, to solve the problems of total strangers than to solve our own.
Non-Western peoples are not so enlightened as we, and it is eagerly excused,
utilizing a newly-discovered Christian double standard which is a mark of
modern moral superiority, like belonging to the Classics Book Club or
contributing to the Negro College Fund. What, asks Nietzsche, has caused
more suffering than the follies of the compassionate? It is good for colored
peoples to be nationalistic; we encourage it, in fact, and snap up Israel Bonds
with a warm feeling of self-righteousness. We are joyful when colored
peoples and Jews exhibit “race pride,” the cardinal sin and taboo of our own
puritanical environment. (Incidentally, why is it that every subject except
one can be discussed in our enlightened age? Atheism is now a dull subject.
Marxism is even duller, after one hundred years of popularity. A step
further has taken us past plain sex to sadism and perversion;

the Marquis de Sade is even becoming jaded. What racy topic is left to
discuss since the equalists have brought democracy’s blessings? Only one
thing cannot be discussed in polite company: race.)
The heroes of Wall Street reap the most from this type of
“imperialism,” and today investors big and little interest themselves in
foreign investments which are actually given tax advantages over domestic
investments (Tax favoritism: the final criterion of status in our democracy)
— or they support “foreign aid” — remembering to stipulate, naturally, that
a portion of this neat gimmick to dispose of our surplus production be
allotted to their own products. The ultimate expression of this militant
water-pistol imperialism is the hilarious yet deeply symbolic “Peace
Corpse,” the true expression of the zeitgeist. Created out of the typically
American combination of abysmal do-good stupidity and inability to gauge
the feelings of others, and enlightened greed, this is the perfect symbol for
No, we do not need imperialism so long as we have leaders like
Mennen Williams and Adlai Stevenson; savants like Eleanor Roosevelt and
Arnold Toynbee and altruists like Herbert Lehman, James Warburg, and
Douglas Dillon to solve our problems for us.
To further pursue this inquiry into the applicability of Spengler today
it is important to bring out a certain point of view which is heard most
infrequently, thanks to the purveyors of intellectual freedom and democracy.
Neo-Spenglerians who are attuned to the racial view of history (call them
“racists” for convenience) hold that the “final” phase of a Culture — the
imperialistic stage — is final only because the cultural organism destroys its
body and kills its soul by this process.
Obviously, if we are to draw analogies between cultures and
organisms we must agree that the soul of the organism dies only because of
the death of the body. The soul can sicken — the soul of the West is now
diseased and perhaps mortally ill — but it cannot die unless the organism
itself dies. And this, point out the racists, is precisely what has happened to
all previous cultures; death of

the organism being the natural result of the suicidal process of imperialism.
A word on the racial view of history before proceeding further.
Today, of course, history is written from the Marxist standpoint of
economics, linear progress and class warfare — and Yockey explains this
triple error well. Previous to the first World War history was written largely
from the racial point of view. History was seen as the dramatic story of the
movements, struggles and developments of races, which it is. Suppression
of the racist point of view reached its apex about 1960. (It is no coincidence
that the power of the Culture Distorter in every other field, including the
political, gave signs — however faint — of wavering at that time, too.)
Perhaps the biggest reason for a growing tendency of White folks to
look at the races objectively is, paradoxically, precisely because they have
been forced to look at them subjectively! It is no problem to maintain a
myth in ignorance. Negro equality or even supremacy, for example, is easier
to believe in if there are no Negroes around to destroy the concept. In a
word, internationalism in practice quickly metamorphoses into racism.
To turn from experience to academic matters, how many Americans
or Britons are acquainted with the stupendously elemental fact that they are
— in the historical sense — Germans; that they are, like it or not, a part of
that great Teutonic-Celtic family which — millenniums before the dawn of
Rome or even Greece — was one tribe, with one language? How many
otherwise enlightened and well-meaning people who have heretofore judged
their patriotism according to the degree of hatred they have had for their
continental brothers know that the ancestors of the great Teutonic-Celtic
family were the same Aryans who subjected India and civilized it, speaking
the Sanskrit language and creating the caste system which, incidentally, was
nothing originally but a system of racial segregation endowed with a
religious significance in order to maintain it? Or that, before this, there
were the Sumerians and

the Persians, and that the modern name for Persia — Iran — is merely a
corruption of Aryan?
Greece and Rome, also, were created by this great, far-roving, culture-
bearing race of conquerors. In whatever part of the world it went, a different
civilization was created, each of which was distinctive because it developed
in tune with the environmental conditions in whatever location its history
began, yet bearing unmistakable traces of its Aryan origin.
There are some civilizations about which we know little, as far as the
racial elements are concerned. All we know for certain about the Egyptians
is that they were Caucasian, and that they, like all slavemasters, mingled
their blood with that of their Negro slaves. As for the so-called Amerindian
civilizations, we now know without doubt that civilization was
superimposed upon Indian savages by a White racial stock. In his popular
books, Kon-Tiki and Aku-Aku, Thor Heyerdahl cleverly reveals the forbidden
racist view, in spite of the fact that a million people who are familiar with
the adventure described in the books are totally ignorant of the deep racial
message he wrote into them. (It is a sad commentary indeed when a gifted
scientist, in order to reveal a simple truth, must risk his life and then write an
adventure story in code which, when interpreted, shows a forbidden fact.)
In Kon-Tiki, Heyerdahl writes, “…There is not a trace of gradual
development in the high civilizations which once stretched from Mexico to
Peru. The deeper the archeologists dig, the higher the culture, until a
definite point is reached at which the old civilizations have clearly arisen
without any foundation in the midst of primitive cultures.” All of the
wonders in South and Central America before the arrival of the Spaniards
had been brought about suddenly by a race of White conquerors and that, as
they melted their blood slowly into that of their subject native population,
the civilization dwindled. The very reason Cortez conquered the Aztecs so
easily was because Montezuma believed that the Spaniards were the “fair-
skinned, bearded men coming from the

East” which, Quetzalcotl’s prophecy foretold, would return; and the Incas in
Peru had the very same legend. The name, Inca, by the way, is the name
only of the aristocracy of the Peruvians. The Incas were White and the
princesses were quite beautiful; so much so that many of the Spanish
officers married them and took them back to Spain. A glance at the present
“Incas” in Peru shows at once that these were not the creators of the great
Peruvian Culture.
Some of the very best writing on this subject and, for that matter, on
the fascinating subject of world prehistory generally is found in Paul
Hermann’s Conquest By Man, an extremely valuable book which, strangely
enough, is now in print (Harper)!
An even cloudier origin must be ascribed to the Chinese civilization.
Suffice it to say that there is abundant indication of early White movements
to North China and there is much similarity between early Chinese culture
and Babylonian. Genghis Khan, a Mongol, came from a tribe called “the
gray-eyed men,” according to biographer Harold Lamb, and he had red hair
and green eyes. The Chinese have shown that they have the ability to
maintain a civilization but we cannot prove that they have ever created one.
The intensive suppression, misrepresentation, condemnation and
opposition to the racial view of history has had its effect. We still not only
have much to learn (the surface of prehistory has barely been scratched and
will never be more than scratched if the scientists persist in spending their
time in well-financed projects in the so-called “cradle of civilization” in the
Middle East) but the results of historical perversion have been satisfyingly
abundant in the social area. This has allowed the Distorter to convince
Europe that all that Europe has it owes to the Greeks, the Romans and an
obscure tribe of vagabonds which some religious crackpots refer to as
“God’s Chosen People.”* In The Testimony of the Spade, however,
Geoffrey Bibby relates some results of his straying off the

* Or, as Samuel Hoffenstein put it in his earthquaking couplet:

How odd of God
To choose the Jews.

beaten archeological track and looking for the origins of Europe in Europe
instead of the alien Orient; results which will be surprising to persons
brought up to believe that their ancestors were bearskin-clad savages,
civilized only when forced to acknowledge the superiority of Rome. In
truth, virtually everything the West has it owes to itself, including holidays
like Christmas and Easter (originally Teutonic celebrations of the Winter
Solstice and the coming of Spring, with the latter celebration dedicated to
the Goddess Eostre), to law, ethics and single-breasted jackets. The world
wears leather shoes and trousers, not sandals and togas. Wearing apparel
very similar to items sold at Sears, Roebuck today have been discovered in
Europe dating back some three thousand years.
The Western Culture had its birth many millenniums ago. It began
antochthonously and developed to the present point, when it now stands
upon the verge of physical and spiritual annihilation only because it has
ceased to believe in itself. This is the lesson we glean.
Further, there is a correlation too perfect to be a coincidence in that in
every case on record of the death or stagnation of a Culture there has been
simultaneously an abortive attempt to digest large numbers of cultural and
racial aliens into the organism. In the case of Rome and Greece death came
about through imperialism and the resulting, inevitable backwash of
conquered peoples and races into the heartland as slaves, bringing exotic
religions, different philosophies; in a word, cultural sophistication first, then
cultural anarchy. In the case of Persia, India and the Amerindian
civilizations, a race of conquerors superimposed their civilization upon a
mass of indigenous people; the area flourished for awhile, then the Culture
vanished or, in the case of America, was on the verge of vanishing, as the
descendants of the conquerors became soft, fat and liberal and took on more
and more of the accoutrements and blood of the subject population. In the
case of Egypt, the alien blood was brought in over the course of many

by the importation of Negro slaves. The inevitable racial mongrelization

followed, creating the Egypt we know today.
We thus see the real reason underlying the “inevitable” decline and
destruction of a cultural organism. It is because, at a certain stage, a Culture
develops a bad case of universalism. Speaking pathologically, unless this is
sublimated to harmless channels by proper treatment, it will inevitably kill
the organism through the absorption of a resulting flood of alien microbes.
It is, therefore, the natural by-product of universalism which kills the
organism; the death of the organism itself is neither natural nor necessary!
This conclusion comes by a synthesis of the Spenglerian and the racial
point of view. Each tempers the other; together a comprehensive and
hopeful theory of history can be developed which holds a deep meaning to
Westerners of this day. At all costs, the imperialistic phase of our
development must be avoided, and we must guard against the digestion of
alien matter we have already partially absorbed. The West need not die if it
learns to sublimate the present “universal” stage of the West from the
orthodox to something more constructive which will not only satisfy the
“inevitable” yearning that the West now displays for expansion and
universalism but, at the same time, will provide a basis for the West to
continue its development. What can that be?
Faintly shining above the wreckage of seven Cultures we can now
detect a dim ray of hope which gives to us, as men of the West, reason to
believe that the Destiny of our Culture can work itself out through a
completely new path. This ray of hope shines from the same developments
which have brought the West to its position of unqualified superiority to
every other Culture. For the West has already embarked upon the greatest
adventure in all history — the attempt to conquer Space — the attempt to
bring the very Universe under the control of the race! This imperative needs
no justification other than the one Sir Edmund Hillary gave when he was
asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest: “Because it’s

there.” This is the pristine reality of the Faustian Soul of the West, and it is
beyond the logic of the rationalists.
Could any goal be at once so totally challenging, so impudent and
impossible as this — and also so metaphysically necessary to the spiritual
need of our Culture? And more — could any goal be so perfectly adapted to
the physical situation in which we find ourselves?
The fates have provided the West well with the means of survival. At
this point in history, our technics, industrial overproduction and the
“population explosion” become all-important, for we see that finally the
West has the means to turn the poetic imperative of the Faustian drive for
the Infinite to reality; indeed, the inescapable need to do so.
For it is true that, regardless of all arguments to the contrary, Western
man is bound to conquer Space or to die in the attempt. No longer is the
drive toward infinity and largeness held back by earthly boundaries. Now,
in fact, we have infinity at our elbow.
What I am suggesting is that at last the White man has burst the ties to
Earth. I am stating the simple fact that, barring calamity caused by universal
physical or biological destruction, we are now headed for the stars, and there
is no power in heaven or earth to stop us. Coming days will see the present
drive for Space magnified a thousandfold — a millionfold. All limits to the
possibility of expansion have disappeared. Geographical expansion on Earth
is senseless — and worse than senseless — it is suicide. The Frontier has
come back — a Frontier that can never be dissipated. And with that Frontier
comes literally limitless opportunities not only for physical expansion but
for economic exploitation — and for the Soul of Faustian man to find its true
Of course, man cannot conquer the heavens. Man cannot move the
solar system, change planets in their orbits, add billions of square miles of
dirt to the surface of the Earth, move other planets closer to the life-giving
Sun to adapt them for colonization, refuel the Sun when it starts to fade and,
most noble impossibility

of all, actually upgrade the human species through deliberate biological

mechanics*; for, in the attempt to conquer Nature, we must fail; this is the
eternal tragedy of the Faustian Soul, says Spengler in Man and Technics.
But — and this is the important thing — we can try. And we will. The final
end does not matter; time has no end; only the goal matters.
At the same time there is the grave danger that we will, with our
attention fixed on the nearing stars, succumb to the subtle urging of the
Culture Distorter and ignore the problems at home. The Infinite Challenge
is of unspeakable excitement, but the mundane problem of the quality of
men and their earthy environment is of more importance. Our venture to
Infinity will be very short-lived if we come home to an earth peopled with a
rapidly-degenerating human species; to nights that crawl with the prowlings
of depraved, raceless savages, with only barred doors keeping the jungle out
of the laboratory and the boudoir until day breaks; to a tyranny over our
government that is exercised by organized and predatory minorities; to
impossible taxes to support degenerative “welfare” schemes that are
deliberately designed to proliferate the unfit and inferior at the expense of
the productive and creative; to an organized filth that calls itself literature; to
the ethical syphilis of Hollywood; to systematic lies that masquerade as
scholarship; to purposeful journalistic and official propaganda that has as its
sole aim the perpetuation of cultural decline; to thralldom to an economic
system dedicated to extirpating individual excellence and personal
responsibility; to a liberal philosophy and a sick religion — perfect for
slaves — which ferociously combats all creative efforts of noble souls,
revealing its own loftiest aspiration to be the implantation of a subconscious
death wish in our people; to a cowardly hypocrisy that makes it impossible
to speak of our real problems —

* In Nature and Man’s Fate, biologist Garrett Hardin of the University of California has
done what too few academicians can do: created a book of both beauty and far-seeing
scope. But alas, words are only words; politics alone, let us ever remember, is the art of
the possible.

and all of this for the purpose of stabilizing the total supremacy of the
Culture Distorter, which feeds and fattens on these conditions.
Oswald Spengler, then, can be seen not as the prophet of inevitable
doom, but as a challenger, as a seer who was — in common with all great
creators — unable to see the final consequences of his creation. Hence, the
importance of Spengler becomes the size of the future, and all men who are
free from the grip of the destroyers must, as a categorical imperative, accept
his basic teaching. What we do with it — whether or not we have the
courage to build on the structure he built — this is up to us. We must hope
that more men like Yockey will come to add a little more onto the concept
he created, for the development of the Western cultural organism is not
coming to an end, it is just beginning.


What is the significance of Imperium? Simply this. That now, for

the first time, those soldiers who enlist in the service of the West have a
profound theory to inspire and guide them. Imperium, after conquering all
attempts to suppress it and destroy it — as have all constructive advances in
the past of man — is seen as the only foundation which can be used to
overthrow the inner enemies, re-conquer the Soul of the West and pave the
way to the future.
In spite of the difference of opinion which Imperium will stir, this
much is certain: here is a book which is basically different from other books,
precisely as the author states on the first page. Whether it does, indeed,
signal a turning-point in history such as the author describes, or not, it
contains a vast amount of pregnant thinking and new concepts which any
fair-minded person will welcome. It breaks through the straitjacket of
present sterile intellectualism which affronts us from a thousand futile
towers of “higher learning” and will undoubtedly endow every reader with
possessions of thought which will enrich him and, in time, our Culture.
Whether the apocalyptic prophecies are borne out, or whether an alternative
and more constructive course can be imposed upon

history — or whether the West and the world will come to its finality not
with a bang but with a whimper, only the unfoldment of time can tell; but no
intelligent man will ignore Imperium.
In one respect, Imperium is akin to Das Kapital, for Karl Marx gave
to the conspiratorial Culture Distorter the necessary ideological mask to hide
its mission of ruthless, total destruction. He provided an ugly and invalid
theory of man, cloaked in putrifying equality, mewling hypocrisy, the
disease of undiscriminating altruism and the “science” of economics. By so
doing, he thrilled the rationalists with a totally specious verity, something
their stunted, guilty souls desperately needed after they killed God.
Francis Parker Yockey has done the same thing for those who are
constructive-minded and who have the intellectual and moral courage to face
reality and seek and speak truth.
This is why, although Yockey’s plan for the West may not be perfect,
it contains atomic power. If only one man reading this book is influenced to
lead, and if others are made to see the world a little more clearly than they
do now — and if they are thereby enabled to discriminate between their true
friends and their real enemies, and to recognize the need for leadership and
coordinated action — then Yockey’s life of suffering and persecution and
his monumental accomplishment in spite of all has not been in vain.
And whatever course Destiny may take from this day forth, I shall
always be baffled by two questions.
For one, is the republication of this book, in itself, concrete evidence
that its prophecy is being worked out?
And lastly — now you must accept this at my word and question me
no further — it is most strange that two men — neither of whom can bring
themselves to believe in either “Destiny” nor “Eternal Justice” — that these
two heathens and bitter realists — these two rationalists, if you will — were
the only ones with faith enough to take it upon themselves to see that
Imperium is not forgotten but is made available for you, dear reader.



This book is different from other books. First of all, it is only in form
a book at all. In reality, it is a part of the life of action. It is a turning-point
in European history, a late turning-point, but a real one. There is nothing
original in the content of this book, the book itself only is original. The
craze for originality is a manifestation of decadence, and the decadence of
Europe is the ascendancy of the Barbarian.
This is the first of a line of works — the political literature of Europe.
Heretofore all political works on the imperative side have been addressed to
one nation of Europe alone. Among other things, this book marks the end of
Rationalism. It does not bring it about — not books but only the advance of
History can accomplish anything of that sort — it merely rings its funeral
knell. Thus the imperative side of Life returns to its pristine Source, the
will-to-power. Henceforth there will be no discussion of action in terms of
abstract thought.

This is addressed to all Europe, and in particular to the culture-bearing

stratum of Europe. It summons Europe to a world-historical struggle of two
centuries’ duration. Europe will partake in this struggle either as a
participant, or as the booty for marauding powers from without. If it is to
act, and not merely to suffer in this series of gigantic wars, it must be
integrated, and there is only one way this can occur. The Western Culture is
suffering from disease, and the prolongation of this disease is the prolonging
of Chinese conditions in Europe.
The word Europe changes its meaning: from now on it means the
Western Civilization, the organic unity which created as phases of its life the
nation-ideas of Spain, Italy, France, England and Germany. These former
nations are all dead; the era of political nationalism has passed. This has not
happened through logical necessity, but through the organic advance of the
History of the West. It is this organic necessity which is the source of our
imperative, and of the integration of Europe. The significance of the organic
is that its alternatives are either to do the necessary or to sicken and die.
The present chaos — 1948 — is directly traceable to the attempt to
prevent the integration of Europe. As a result, Europe is in a swamp, and
extra-European forces dispose of former European nations as their colonies.
In this book are the precise, organic foundations of the Western soul,
and in particular, its Imperative at this present stage. Either Europe will
become totally integrated, or it will pass entirely out of history, its peoples
will be dispersed, its efforts and brains will be at the disposal forever of
extra-European forces. This is shown herein, not by abstract formulae and
intellectualized theories, but organically and historically. The conclusions
therefore are not arbitrary, not a subject for choosing or rejecting, but
absolutely compelling to minds which wish to

take part in affairs. The real author is the Spirit of the Age, and its
commands do not admit of argumentation, and their sanction is the crushing
might of History, bringing defeat, humiliation, death and chaos.
I condemn here at the outset the miserable plans of retarded souls to
“unite” Europe as an economic area for purposes of exploitation by and
defense of the Imperialism of extra-European forces. The integration of
Europe is not a subject for plans, but for expression. It needs but to be
recognized, and the perpetuation of nineteenth century economic thinking is
entirely incapable here. Not trade and banking, not importing and exporting,
but Heroism alone can liberate that integrated soul of Europe which lies
under the financial trickery of retarders, the petty-stateism of party-
politicians, and the occupying armies of extra-European forces.
The imperative integration of Europe takes the form of unity of
People, Race, Nation, State, Society, Will — and naturally also — economy.
The spiritual unity of Europe is there, its liberation will automatically allow
the full blooming of the other phases of the organic unity, which all flow
from the spiritual.
And thus, this book is a renewal of a war-declaration. It asks the
traitors to Europe, the miserable party-politicians whose tenure of office is
dependent upon their continued serviceability to extra-European forces, “Did
you think it was over? Do you think that your misery and shame will remain
securely forever on a world-stage which has seen true heroes upon it? In the
war which you let loose, you taught men how to die, and thereby you have
freed a spirit which will engulf you next, the Spirit of Heroism and
Discipline. There is no currency that can buy this spirit, but it can overcome
any currency.”
Lastly, this book is itself the first blow in the gigantic war for the
liberation of Europe. The prime enemy is the traitor within

Europe, who alone makes possible the starving and looting of Europe by the
outer forces. He is the symbol of Chaos and Death. Between him and the
spirit of the twentieth century is unremitting war.

Brittas Bay, January 30, 1948

The 20th Century Historical Outlook

“Thus, as we do nothing but enact history, we say little but recite it: nay,
rather, in that widest sense, our whole spiritual life is built thereon. For,
strictly considered, what is all knowledge too but recorded experience, and a
product of history; of which, therefore, reasoning and belief, no less than
action and passion are essential materials?”
— Carlyle

“The individual’s life is of importance to none besides himself: the point is

whether he wishes to escape from history or give his life for it. History
recks nothing of human logic.”
— Spengler


Far out in exterior darkness where no breath stirs, no light shines, and
no sound is heard, one can glance toward this spinning earth-ball. In the
astral regions, illumination is of the soul, hence all is dark but this certain
star, and only a part of it is aglow. From such a distance, one can obtain an
utterly untrammeled view of what is transpiring on this earth-ball. Drawing
somewhat closer, continents are visible; closer yet, population-streams. One
focal point exists whence the light goes forth in all directions. It is the
crooked peninsula of Europe. On this tiny pendant of the great land-mass of
the earth-ball, the greatest intensity of movement exists. One can see — for
out here the soul and its emanations are visible — a concentration of ideas,
energy, ambition, purpose, expansiveness, will-to-form. Hovering above
Europe we can see what never before was so clearly visible — the presence
of a purely spiritual organism. A close look reveals that the light stream is
not flowing from the surface of Europe upward into the night sky, but
downward from the hitherto invisible organism. This is a discovery of

and revolutionary importance, which was only vouchsafed to us by reason of

our complete detachment from terrestrial events in the outer void, where
spirit is visible and matter visible, only by reason of the light from the spirit.
More discoveries follow: on the other side are two islands, small in
comparison with the land-mass. The pale glow diffused over isolated parts
of these two islands is seen at once to be a reflection from the other side.
What is this supra-terrestrial phenomenon? Why does it hover over
Europe in particular? What is the relationship between it and the human
material under it? The latter is shaped up into intricately formed pyramidal
structures. Ranks are formed. Movements proceed along channels of
labyrinthine complexity. Persons stand to one another in defined
relationships of command and obedience. Apart from this tiny peninsula,
the human currents are horizontal, swirling, eddying like the water in the
streams, the currents in the ocean, the herds on the vast plains. It is, then,
the spirit-organism which forms and impresses the population of the
peninsula into their intricate organic shapes.
With what can we compare this being, which could not be seen by us
while we were earth-bound? It is alone at present.
But out here we have the freedom of time as well as the freedom of
space. We are allowed to look upon a hundred generations as the earth-
bound look upon the life-span of a fruit-fly. In our search for something
similar to the spirit-organism we have seen, we go back two hundred
generations. The ball is the same, but is in almost complete darkness.
Things are almost indistinguishable; matter has not passed through the
alembic of spirit, and is not apprehensible. A glance backward reveals a
continuation of the void. We let a few generations pass in a moment, and
spirit begins to make itself felt. A feeble, but

promising, glow appears in northeast Africa. Then another, a thousand

miles to the northeast, in Mesopotamia. They take names, Egypt, Babylonia.
The time is around 3000 B.C. They increase in intensity and the first thing
clear in each case is armies marching against the outer populations, who are
felt as the barbarian. These spiritual organisms do not mix — their higher
frontiers are sharp and clear; each being has its own hue, which adheres to it.
Each organism seizes the human material in its landscape and impresses
them into its service. First it gives them a common World-Idea, then it
refines this into nations, each nation embodying a separate idea of the higher
organism. A nobility and priesthood arise to embody different aspects of the
idea. The populations are stratified and specialized, and the human beings
live out their lives and destinies in a way entirely subordinate to the higher
organism. The latter compels these humans with ideas. Only a small
spiritual stratum of each human population is adapted to this kind of
compulsion, but those who belong to it remain in the service of the idea,
once it is felt. They will live and die for it, and in the process they determine
the destinies of the population whence they spring. These ideas — not mere
abstractions, strings of concepts, but living, pulsating, wordless necessities
of being and thinking — are the technic by which these higher beings utilize
human beings for their purposes. Religions of high complexity of feeling
and rationale, forms of architecture, conceived in the spirit of that religion
and put into its service, lyric poetry, pictorial art, sculpture, music, orders of
nobility, orders of priesthood, stylized dwellings, stylized manners and
dress, rigid training of the young up to these developments to perpetuate
them, systems of philosophy, of mathematics, of knowledge, of nature,
prodigious technical methods, giant battles, huge armies, prolonged wars,
energetic economics to support this whole multifarious

structure, intricately organized governments to infuse order into the nations

created by the higher being acting on the different types of human material
— these are some of the floraison of forms which appear in these two areas.
Each form is different in Egypt from the corresponding form in Babylonia .
If an idea is taken over, it is only apparently adopted; actually it is
misunderstood, re-formed, and adapted to the proper soul.
But the higher being approaches a crisis. It has expended itself in this
earth-transforming process. It shudders, it apparently weakens, it palpitates
— chaos and anarchy threaten its terrestrial actualizations — forces outside
gather to strike it down and wipe out its grand creations. But it rouses itself,
it puts forward its greatest effort of all — no longer in the creation of inward
things, arts, philosophy, theories of life, but in the formation of the purely
external apparatus of power: strict governments, giant armies, industry to
support them, fleets of ships for war, legal systems to organize and order the
conquests. It expands across areas never before investigated or even known,
it unifies all of its proper nations into one, which gives its name to the rest
and leads them on to the last great expansive effort.
The same great rhythm is observable in each of them. As one
watches, the two lights die down from their splendid hues to an ever-paler
earth-light. They go out slowly, leaving a glow of memory and legend in the
minds of men, and with their last great creations lying in the widened
landscape — Imperium.
Outside these two areas, the rest of the earth has remained unchanged.
The human bands are distinguishable from the herding-animals only by a
primitive culture, and a more intricate economy. Otherwise their existence-
forms are devoid of significance. The primitive cultures are the sole thing
existing above the plane of economics, in that they attribute symbolic
significance to natural occurrences and human conduct. But

there is nothing in these movements resembling the High Cultures which

transformed the entire appearance of the Egyptian and Babylonian
landscapes for almost forty generations from their first beginning until the
last sinking.
Physical time flows on and centuries pass in darkness. Then,
precisely as in Egypt and Babylonia, but again of a different hue, and to
different music, a light appears over the Punjab . It becomes bright and firm.
The same wealth of forms and significant happenings work themselves out
as in the earlier two organisms. Its creations are all in the highest degree
individual, as different from its two predecessors as they were vis-à-vis one
another, but they follow the same grand rhythms. The same multi-colored
pageant of nobles and priests, temples and schools, nations and cities, arts
and philosophies, armies and sciences, letters and wars, passes before the


Before this high culture was well on its way, another had started to
actualize itself in the Hwang-Ho valley in China . And then a few centuries
later, about 1100 B.C. in our way of reckoning, the Classical Culture begins
on the shores of the Aegean. Both of these cultures have the stamp of
individuality, their own way of coloring and influencing their terrestrial
creations, but both are subject to the same morphology as the others
As this Classical Culture draws to its close, around the time of Christ,
another one appears in a landscape subjugated by the Classical in its last
expansive phase — Arabia. The fact of its appearance precisely here makes
its course an unusual one. Its forms are inwardly as pure as those of all the
other Cultures, inwardly it borrows nothing any more than they did — but it

inevitable that the material contiguity of landscape, temporal succession, and

contact with the civilized populations of the older organism would influence
the new soul to take over the wealth of classical creations. It was subjugated
to them only in a superficial way however, for into these old bottles it
poured its new wine. Through selection, reinterpretation, or ignoring, it
expressed its own soul despite the alien forms. In its later, expansive phase,
this culture embraced European Spain as the Western Caliphate. Its life
span, its end form, its last great crisis — all followed the same organic
regularity as the others.
Some five centuries later the now familiar manifestations of another
High Culture begin in the remote landscapes of Mexico and Peru . It is to
have the most tragic destiny of any we have yet seen. Around 1000 A.D.
the European Culture is meanwhile born, and at its very birth shows itself to
be distinguished from the others by the extraordinary intensity of its self-
expression, by its pushing into every distance both in the spiritual realm, and
in the physical. Its original landscape was even of an extent many times the
size of its predecessors, and from this base, in its middle life, it enters upon
an Age of Discovery, in which it finds for itself the very frontiers of the
earth-ball, and converts the world into the object of its politics. Its Spanish
representatives in the two warrior bands of Cortez and Pizarro discovered
the Civilization of Mexico and Peru, then in its very last stage of refinement
of the material life. The two grand Empires of Mexico and Peru, with social
forms, economico-political organization, transportation, communication, city
life, all developed to the utmost limits for this particular soul made the
invading Spaniards seem like mere naive barbarians. But the technical
disinterestedness of these empires left them helpless before the few cannon
and horses of the invaders. The last act of this Culture-drama is its
obliteration in a few years by the invaders

from another world. This consummation is instructive as to the attention

that the World-Spirit pays to human values and feelings. What soothsayer
would have dared to tell the last Aztec Emperor, surrounded with the pomp
of world-historical significance, clothed with the power of the world, that in
a short time the jungle would reconquer his cities and palaces, that his
armies and systems of control of his world-Empire would vanish before the
onslaught of a few hundred barbarians?
Each Culture-soul is stamped with individuality; from the others it
takes nothing, and to them it gives nothing. Whatever is on its frontiers is
the enemy, whether primitive or Culture-populations. They all are
barbarians, heathens, to the proper culture, and no understanding passes
between them. We saw the Western peoples prove the lifeworthiness of the
European culture by their crusades against the highly civilized Saracens,
Moors, and Turks. We saw the Germanic populations in the East and their
Visigothic brothers in the South push the barbarian Slavs and the civilized
Moors continually back during the centuries. We saw Western ships and
Western armies make the whole world into the object of booty for the West.
These were the relations of the West to that and those outside.
Within the Culture arose Gothic Christianity, the transcendent
symbols of Empire and Papacy, the Gothic cathedrals, the unlocking of the
secrets of the world of the soul and the world of nature in monastery cells.
The Culture-soul shaped for its own expression the nations of the West. To
each it gave individuality, and at the last, each thought it was a Culture in
itself, instead of being a mere organ of a Culture. Cities grew out of the
hamlets of Gothic times, and from the cities grew intellect. The old problem
of the relation of Reason and Faith, the central problem of early Scholastic,
is apparently being slowly decided in these cities in favor of the Supremacy
of Reason.

The nobility of Gothic times, the masters of the earth who had no superior
unless they voluntarily recognized him, become subject to an idea — the
State. Life slowly externalizes: political problems move into the center; new
economic resources are developed to support the political contests; the old
agricultural economy metamorphoses into an industrial economy. At the
end of this path stands a ghostly and terrifying Idea: Money.
Other Cultures also had seen this phenomenon appear at the same
stage and grow to similar dimensions. Its slow growth in importance
proceeds pari passe with the gradual self-assertion of Reason against Faith.
It reaches its highest point with the Age of Nationalism, when the parts of
the Culture tear one another to bits, even as outer dangers loom
threateningly. At its highest point, Money, allied with Rationalism, contests
for the supremacy over the life of the Culture with the forces of State and
Tradition, Society and Religion. In our brief visit to interstellar space, we
found the position of detachment whence we could see this grand life-drama
unfold itself seven times in seven High Cultures, and we saw each of the
seven surmount the last great crisis of two centuries’ duration. The
Mexican-Peruvian Civilization overcame the inner crisis only to fall before
marauders appearing out of the blue sea.
The great crisis of the West set in forcefully with the French
Revolution and its consequent phenomena. Napoleon was the symbol of the
transition of Culture into Civilization — Civilization, the life of the material,
the external, of power, giant economies, armies, and fleets, of great numbers
and colossal technics, over Culture, the inner life of religion, philosophy,
arts, domination of the external life of politics and economics by strict form
and symbolism, strict restraint of the beast-of-prey in man, feeling of
cultural unity. It is the victory of Rationalism, Money and the great city
over the traditions of religion and authority, of Intellect over Instinct.

We had seen all this in the previous high cultures as they approached
their final life-phase. In each case the crisis had been resolved by the
resurgence of the old forces of Religion and Authority, their victory over
Rationalism and Money, and the final union of the nations into an Imperium.
The two-century-long crisis in the life of the great organism expressed itself
in gigantic wars and revolutions. All the Cultural energy that had previously
gone into inner creations of thought, religion, philosophy, science, art-forms,
great literature, now goes into the outer life of economics, war, technics,
politics. The symbolism of power succeeds to the highest place in this last
But at this point, we are suddenly back on the surface of the earth. No
longer detached, we must participate in the great Culture-drama, whether we
will or no. Our only choice is to participate as subject or as object. The
wisdom that comes from the knowledge of the organic nature of a High
Culture gives us the key to the events transpiring before our eyes. It can be
applied by us, and our action can thereby become significant, as
distinguished from the opportunistic and old-fashioned policy of stupidity
which would try to turn the Western Civilization back in its course because
stupid heads are incapable of adjusting themselves to new prevailing ideas.


With the knowledge of the organic nature of a High Culture, we have

achieved an unparalleled liberation from the dross of materialism which
hindered hitherto the glimpse into History’s riddle. This knowledge is
simple, but profound, and is therefore shut off from the inward appreciation
of all but the few. In its train flow all the consequences of the necessary
historical outlook of the coming times. Since a Culture is organic, it has an
individuality, and a soul. Thus it cannot be influenced in its

depths from any outside force whatever. It has a destiny, like all organisms.
It has a period of gestation, and a birth-time. It has a growth, a maturity,
fulfillment, a down-going, a death. Because it has a soul, all of its
manifestations will be impressed by the same spiritual stamp, just as each
man’s life is the creation of his own individuality. Because it has a soul, this
particular culture can never come again after it has passed. Like the nations
it creates to express phases of its own life, it exists only once. There will
never be another Indian culture, Aztec-Mayan Culture, Classical Culture, or
Western Culture, any more than there will be a second Spartan nation,
Roman nation, French or English nation. Since a Culture is organic, it has a
life-span. We observed this life span: it is about thirty-five generations at
highest potential, or about forty-five generations from its first stirrings in the
landscape until its final subsiding. Like the life span of organisms, it is no
rigid thing. Man has a life span of seventy years, but this term is not rigid.
The High Cultures belong at the peak of the organic hierarchy: plant,
animal, man. They differ from the other organisms in that they are invisible,
or in other words, they have no light-quality. In this they resemble the
human soul. The body of a High Culture is made up of the population
streams in its landscape. They furnish it with the material through which it
actualizes its possibilities. The spirit which animates these populations
shows the life-phase of the Culture, whether youthful, mature, or at the last
fulfillment. Like each man, a Culture has ages, which succeed one another
with rhythmic inevitability. They are laid down for it by its own organic
law, just as the senility of a man is laid down at his conception. This quality
of direction we call Destiny. Destiny is the hallmark of everything living.
Destiny-thinking is the type of thought which understands the living, and it
is the only kind which does. The other

method of human thought is that of Causality. This method is inwardly

compulsory in dealing with inorganic problems of technics, mechanics,
engineering, systematic natural philosophy. It finds the limits of its efficacy
there, however, and is grotesque when applied to Life. It would tell us that
youth is the cause of maturity, maturity of old age, that the bud is the cause
of the full-blown flower, the caterpillar the cause of the butterfly.
The Destiny-Idea is the central motive of organic thinking. If anyone
thinks it is merely an invisible causality, he understands it not. The idea of
Causality is the central motive of systematic, or inorganic thinking. The
latter is scientific thinking. It aims at subjugation of things to
understanding; it wishes to name everything, to make outlines distinct, and
then to link phenomena together by classification and causal linkage. Kant
is the height of this type of thinking, and to this side of Western philosophy
belong also Hume, Bacon, Schopenhauer, Hamilton, Spencer, Mill,
Bentham, Locke, Holbach, Descartes. To the organic side belong
Macchiavelli, Vico, Montaigne, Leibnitz, Lichtenberg, Pascal, Hobbes,
Goethe, Hegel, Carlyle, Nietzsche and Spengler, the philosopher of the
twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Scientific thinking is at the height of its power in the realm of matter,
that which possesses extension, but no direction. Material happenings can
be controlled, are reversible, produce identical results under identical
conditions, are recurrent, can be classified, can be successfully
comprehended as though they are subject to an a priori, mechanical,
necessity, in other words, to Causality.
Scientific thinking is powerless in the domain of Life, for its
happenings are uncontrollable, irreversible, never-recurring, unique, cannot
be classified, are unamenable to rational treatment, and possessed of no
external, mechanical necessity. Every

organism is something never seen before, that follows an inner necessity,

that passes away, never to reappear. Every organism is a set of possibilities
within a certain framework, and its life is the process of actualization of
these possibilities. The technique of Destiny-thinking is simply living into
other organisms to understand their life-conditions and necessities. One can
then apprehend what must happen.
The word Fate is an inorganic word. It is an attempt to subjugate Life
to an external necessity; it is of religious provenance, and religion comes
from the causal type of thinking. There is no science without a precedent
religion. Science merely makes the sacred causality of religion into a
profane, mechanical necessity.
Fate is not synonymous with destiny, but the opposite to it. Fate
attributes necessity to the incidents of a life, but Destiny is the inner
necessity of the organism. An incident can wipe out a life, and thus
terminate its destiny, but this event came from outside the organism, and
was thus apart from its destiny.
Every fact is an incident, unforeseeable and incalculable, but the inner
progression of a life is destined, and works itself out through the facts, is
helped or hindered by them, overcomes them, or succumbs to them. It is the
destiny of every child that is born ultimately to become senile; incident may
intervene in the form of disease or accident, and this destiny may be
frustrated. These outer incidents — that may elevate a man to the heights
despite his blunders, or cast him into defeat despite his efficiency and
mastery of the idea of his time are without meaning for Destiny-thinking.
Destiny inheres in the organism, forces it to express its possibilities.
Incident is outside the organism, is blind, uninformed by necessity, but may
nevertheless play a great role in the actualization of an organism, by
smoothing its way, or imposing

great obstacles to it. What is called Luck, Doom, Fate, Providence, express
the bafflement and awe of men in the presence of this mistery, forever
Destiny-thinking and Causality-thinking are related to one another,
however, through their common provenance: both are products of Life.
Even the most inorganic thinker or scientifico, the crassest materialist or
mechanist, is subject to his own destiny, his own soul, his own character, his
own life span, and outside this framework of destiny his free, unbound flight
of causal fancy cannot deliver him. Destiny is Life, but Causality is merely
a thought-method by which a certain form of Life, namely Culture-man,
attempts to subjugate all around him to his understanding. Thus there is an
order of rank between them: Destiny-thinking is unconditionally prior, for
all Life is subject to it, while Causality-thinking is only an expression of a
part of Life’s possibilities.
Their differences may also be expressed in this way: Causality-
thought is able to understand because its non-living material opposes no
resistance, but submits to any conditions imposed upon it, having no inner
compulsion of its own. When, however, Causality attempts to subjugate
Life, the material itself is active, moving independently, will not stand still
and be classified or systematized. Destiny-thinking can understand because
each one of us is himself moved by Destiny, has an inner compulsion to be
himself, and can thus, by transference of inwardly-experienced feelings, live
himself into other forms of life, other individuations. Destiny-thinking
moves along with its subject-matter; Causality stands still, and can only
reach satisfactory conclusions with subject-matter that is also standing still.
Just as even the most highly developed systematizers are subject to
Destiny, so do they — all unwittingly — apply Destiny-thinking

in their daily lives and relationships with other human beings. The most
rabid reflexologist unconsciously applies some of the psychological wisdom
of the Abbe Galiani or Rochefoucauld, even though he has never heard of
these seers of the soul.

The Two Aspects of History

The total difference between the methods of human thinking

represented by the central-ideas of Destiny on the one hand, and Causality
on the other, was sharply accented for the reason that only one of them is
adapted to the understanding of History. History is the record of fulfilled
destinies — of Cultures, nations, religions, philosophies, sciences,
mathematics, art-forms, great men. Only the feeling of empathy can
understand these once-living souls from the bare records left. Causality is
helpless here, for at every second a new fact is cast into the pool of Life, and
from its point of impact, ever-widening circles of changes spread out. The
subterranean facts are never written down, but every fact changes the course
of the history of facts. The true understanding of any organism, whether a
High Culture, a nation, or a man, is to see behind and underneath the facts of
that existence the soul which is expressing itself by means of, and often in
opposition to, the external happenings. Only so can one separate what is
significant from what is unimportant.

Significant thus is seen to mean: having a Destiny-quality. Incidental

means: without relationship to Destiny. It was Destiny for Napoleon that
Carnot was Minister of War, for another man would probably not have seen
Napoleon’s project for an invasion of Italy through the Ligurian Hills, buried
as it was in the files of the Ministry. It was a Destiny for France that the
author of the plan was a man of action as well as a theoretician. It is thus
obvious that the feeling for what is Destiny and what is Incident have a high
subjective content, and that a deeper insight can make out Destiny where the
more superficial sees only Incident.
Men are thus differentiated also with regard to their capacity for
understanding History. There is an historical sense, which can see behind
the surface of history to the soul that is the determinant of this history.
History, seen through the historical sense of a human being, has thus a
subjective aspect. This is the first aspect of History.
The other, the objective, aspect of History, is equally incapable of
rigid establishment, even though at first glance it might seem to be. The
writing of purely objective history is the aim of the so-called reference, or
narrative, method of presenting history. Nevertheless, it inevitably selects
and orders the facts, and in this process the poetic intuition, historical sense,
and flair of the author come into play. If these are totally excluded, the
product is not history-writing, but a book of dates, and this, again, cannot be
free from selection.
Nor is it history. The genetic method of writing history attempts to set
forth the developments with complete impartiality. It is the narrative
method with some type of causal, evolutionary, or organic philosophy
superimposed to trace the growth of the subsequent out of the precedent.
This fails to attain objectivity because the facts that survive may be either

few or too numerous, and in either case artistry must be employed in filling
gaps or selecting. Nor is impartiality possible. It is the historical sense
which decides importance of past developments, past ideas, past great men.
For centuries, Brutus and Pompey were held to be greater than Caesar.
Around 1800, Vulpius was considered a greater poet than Goethe. Mengs,
whom we have forgotten, was ranked in his day as one of the great painters
of the world. Shakespeare, until more than a century after his death, was
considered inferior as a playwright to more than one of his contemporaries.
El Greco was unnoticed 75 years ago. Cicero and Cato were both held, until
after the First World War, to be great men, rather than Culture-retarding
weaklings. Joan of Arc was not included in Chastellain’s list, drawn up on
the death of Charles VII, of all the army commanders who fought against
England . Lastly, for the benefit of readers of 2050, I may say that the Hero
and the Philosopher of the period 1900-1950 were both invisible to their
contemporaries in the historical dimensions in which you see them.
The Classical Culture looked one way to Wincklemann’s time,
another way to Nietzsche’s time, yet another way to the 20th and 21st
centuries. Similarly, Elizabethan England was satisfied with Shakespeare’s
dramatization of Plutarch’s Caesar, whereas fin-de-siécle England required
Shaw to dramatize Mommsen’s Caesar. Wilhelm Tell, Maria Stuart, Götz
von Berlichingen, Florian Geyer, all would have to be written differently
today, for we see these historical periods from a different angle.
What then, is History? History is the relationship between the Past
and the Present. Because the Present is constantly changing, so is History.
Each Age has its own History, which the Spirit of the Age creates to fit its
own soul. With the passing

of that Age, never to return, that particular History picture has passed. Seen
from this standpoint, any attempt to write History “as it really happened” is
historical immaturity, and the belief in objective standards of history-
presentation is self-deception, for what will come forth will be the Spirit of
the Age. The general agreement of contemporaries with a certain outlook on
History does not make that outlook objective, but only gives it rank — the
highest possible rank it can have as an accurate expression of the Spirit of
the Age, true for this time and this soul. A higher degree of truth cannot be
attained, this side of divinity. Anyone who prates of being “modern” must
remember that he would have felt just as modern in the Europe of Charles V,
and that he is doomed to become just as “old-fashioned” to the men of 2050
as are the men of 1850 to him. A journalistic view of History stamps its
possessor as lacking in the historical sense. He should therefore refrain from
talking of historical matters, whether past or in the process of becoming.

The Relativity of History

History must always have its subjective aspect, and its objective
aspect. But the determining thing is always neither the one, nor the other,
but simply the relationship between the two. Each of the first two aspects
can be arbitrary, but the relationship is not arbitrary, but is the expression of
the Spirit of the Age, and is therefore true, historically speaking.
Each of the eight Cultures which passed in brilliant review before us
had its own relationship to History generally, and this relationship developed
in a certain direction through the life-course of the Culture. It is only
necessary to mention the Classical in this connection. Tacitus, Plutarch,
Livy, Suetonius were regarded as historical thinkers by the Romans. To us
they are simply story-tellers, totally lacking in the historical sense. This
could not be a reflection on them, but only tells us something about
ourselves. Our view of History is as intense, fierce, probing and extensive,
as the whole cast of our Western soul generally. If there were ten millennia
of history instead of five, we would find it necessary to orient ourselves to
the whole ten instead of to the mere five.

Not only are the Cultures differentiated from one another also in their
historical sense, but the various Ages within the Culture’s development are
so distinguished. Although all tendencies exist in all the Ages, it is
nevertheless correct to say that one certain Life-tendency dominates any one
Age. Thus in all Cultures, the religious feeling is uppermost in the first
great Life-phase, lasting some five centuries, and is then superseded by the
critical spirituality, lasting somewhat less long, to be succeeded by the
historical outlook, which gradually merges again into the final rebirth of
religion. The three Life-tendencies are, successively, sacred, profane, and
They parallel the political phases of Feudalism, corresponding to
religion; Absolute State, and Democracy, corresponding to early and late
Critical philosophy; and Resurgence of Authority and Caesarism, the
counterparts of skepsis and rebirth of religion.
The intra-Cultural development of the idea of Science, or Natural
Philosophy, is from Theology through, in succession, physical sciences and
biology, to pure, untheoretical, Nature-manipulation, the scientific
counterpart of skepsis and resurgent authority.
The Age which succeeds to the Age of Democracy can only see its
predecessors under their purely historical aspect. This is the only way it can
feel itself as related to them. This too, however, as will be apparent, has its
imperative side. Culture-man is always a unity, and the mere fact that one
Life-tendency is uppermost cannot destroy this organic unity.
In all Ages, the individuals therein are separated from one another
also by their varying development of the historical sense. Think of the
different historical horizon of Frederick II and one of his Sicilian courtiers,
of Cesare Borgia and one of his captains, of Napoleon and Nelson, of
Mussolini and his

assassin. A political unit in the custody of a man with no historical horizon,

an opportunist, must pay with its wasted blood for his lack.
Just as the Western Culture has the most intensely historic soul, so
does it develop men with the greatest historical sense. It is a Culture which
has always been conscious of its own history. At each turning-point there
were many who knew the significance of the moment. Both sides, in any
Western opposition, have felt themselves as clothed with and determining
the Future.
Therefore Western men have been under the necessity of having a
History-picture in which to think and act. The fact that the Culture was
continually changing meant that History was continually changing. History
is the continuous reinterpretation of the Past. History is thus continually
“true,” because, in each Age, the ruling historical outlook and values are the
expression of the proper soul. The alternatives for History are not true or
false, but effective or ineffective. Truth in the religio-philosophical-
mathematical sense, meaning timelessly, eternally valid, dissociated from
the conditions of Life, does not pertain to History. History that is true is
History that is effective in the minds of significant men.
The highly refined historical sense is the characteristic of two groups:
history-writers and history-makers. Between these two groups also there is
an order of rank. History-writing has the task of setting forth for the Age its
necessary picture of the Past. This picture, clear and articulate, then
becomes effective in the thoughts and actions of the leading history-makers
of the Age.
This age, like others, has its own appropriate History-picture, and it
cannot choose one of a number of pictures. The determining thing in our
outlook on History is the Spirit of our Age.

Ours is an external, factual, skeptical, historical, Age. It is not moved by

great religious or critical feelings. That which to our Cultural forebears was
the object of joy, sorrow, passion, necessity, is to us the object of respect and
knowledge. The center of gravity of our Age is in Politics. Pure historical
thinking is the close relative of political thinking. Historical thinking always
seeks to know what was, and not to prove something. Political thinking has
the first task of ascertaining the facts and the possibilities, and then of
changing them through action. Both are undissociated realism. Neither
begins with a program, which it desires to prove.
Ours is the first age in Western history in which an absolute
submission to facts has triumphed over all other spiritual attitudes. It is the
natural corollary of an historical Age, when critical methods have exhausted
their possibilities. In the realm of Thought, historical thinking triumphs; in
the realm of action, Politics occupies the center of the stage. We follow the
facts no matter where they lead, even though we must give up dearly
cherished schemes, ideologies, soul-fancies, prejudices. Previous ages in
Western history formed their History to fit their souls; we do the same, but
our view has no precedent ethical or critical equipment in it. On the contrary
— our ethical imperative is derived from our historical outlook and not vice
Our outlook on History is no more arbitrary than that of any other age
of the West. It is compulsory for us; each man will have this outlook, and
his level of significance will depend on the focus in these matters which he
can attain and hold. Insofar as a man is an effective representative of this
time, he has this particular History-picture and no other. It is not a question
of whether he should have it; so to read is completely to misunderstand. He
will have it, in his feelings and unconscious valuation of events, even if not
in his articulate, verbal, ideas.

The Meaning of Facts

Whether or not a man’s History-outlook is also intellectually

formulated as well as effective in his unconscious doing, thinking, and
valuing is merely a function of his general personality. Some men have a
greater inner need to think abstractly than others.
It must not be supposed that the sense for facts, the historical sense,
dispenses with creative thinking. The development of fact-sense is primarily
the seeing what is there without ethical or critical preconceptions of what
should or should not be there, might or might not.
Life-facts are the data of History. A Life-fact is something which has
happened. It does not matter to its status as a fact that no one may know of
it, that it has vanished without trace. Obviously creative thinking enters into
the process of interpreting the data of History, and a moment’s reflection
shows also that the process of assessing the data of History is a creative one.
Physical facts, like resistance, sourness, redness, are accessible to
everyone. Life-facts are not accessible to a man who has a

rigid view of History, and who knows that the purpose of all previous
happening was to make this age possible, who knows that History has the
sole meaning of “Progress.” Remnants of social ethics, preconceived
historical notions, utility dogmas — all shut out their victims from inner
participation in the life of the 20th and 21st centuries.
To this century the new vista now opens of assembling the lost facts
in previous ages and previous Cultures. Not tiny incidental data, but the
broad outline of necessary organic developments that must have taken place.
From our knowledge of past Cultures and their structures, we can kill in
missing developments in some from what has survived in others. Most
important to us now alive we can fill in what remains to the fulfillment of
our own Culture. This can be done in the way that a palaeontologist can
reconstruct in broad outlines an entire organism from a single skull-
fragment. The process is legitimate and trustworthy in both cases, for Life
has patterns in which it actualizes its unique individuals. From an
anonymous work of literature remaining, a creative thinker can reconstruct a
general picture of the unknown author. Can one not draw quite accurately
the soul-portrait of the unknown author of Das Büchlein vom vollkommenen
Leben? So also can the “Crusades” period of a Culture be reconstructed if
one has knowledge of its “Reformation” stage, or its “Enlightenment” phase.
The realm of Thought is interested in the missing stages of past
Cultures, and the future of our own, but Action is interested in the Past only
as the key to effective performance. Thus the higher importance of history-
writing and history-thinking is that they serve effective action.
The fact-sense is only operative when dogma, socio-ethical ideas, and
critical trappings are put aside. To the fact-sense, it is important that
hundreds of millions of people in a certain area

believe in the truth of Confucian doctrines. To the fact-sense, it is

meaningless whether or not these doctrines are true — even though to
religion, Progress-ideologies, and journalism, the truth or falsehood of
Confucianism is important.
To a 21st century history-writer, the most important thing about the
cells, ether-waves, bacillae, electrons, and cosmic rays of our times will be
that we believed in them. All of these notions, which the age considers
facts, will vanish into the one fact for the 21st century that once upon a time
this was a world-picture of a certain kind of Culture-man. So do we look
upon the nature-theories of Aristarchus and Democritus in the Classical
And thus facts too have their subjective and objective content. And
again, it is the relationship between the man and the phenomenon that
determines the form of the fact. Each Culture has in this way its own facts,
which arise out of its own problems. What the fact is, depends on what man
is experiencing the phenomenon: whether he belongs to a High Culture, to
which Culture, to which age thereof, to which nation, to which spiritual
stratum, to which social stratum.
The facts of the Second World War are one thing in this year 1948, in
the brains of the Culture-bearing stratum of Europe, and something totally
different in the minds of the newspaper-reading herds. By 2000 the view of
the present Culture-bearing stratum will have become also the view of the
many, and by that time, more facts will be known to the independent
thinkers about the same War than are now known to the few. For one of the
characteristics of Life-facts is that distance — particularly temporal distance
— shows up their lineaments more clearly. We know more of Imperial
history than Tacitus knew, more of Napoleonic history than Napoleon knew,
vastly more of the First World War than its creators and

participants knew, and Western men in 2050 will know our times in a way
that we can never know them. To Brutus his mythological ancestry was a
fact, but to us a more important fact is that he believed it.
Thus the fact-sense, the prerequisite of the historical outlook of the
20th century, emerges as a form of the poetry of Life. It is the very opposite
of the prosaic, drab insistence of the materialistic outlook that facts had to
submit to a “progress” ideology in order to be cognized as significant. This
view absolutely excluded its victims from any insight into the beauty and
power of the facts of history, as well as from any understanding of their
significance. The 21st century — whose men will be born into a time when
this historical outlook is self-evident — will find it fantastic, if it ever takes
notice of it, that in an earlier time men believed that all previous history was
merely tending toward them. And yet that was the outlook of the 19th
century: whole Cultures, equal by birth and spirituality to our own in every
way, lived and died merely that the philistinism of the “progress”-ideologists
could chalk up their “achievements” on the wall, meaning a few notions or
technical devices.

The Demise of the Linear View of History

Life is a continuous battle between Young and Old, Old and New,
Innovation and Tradition. Ask Galileo, Bruno, Servetus, Copernicus, Gauss.
All of them represented the Future, yet all were overcome, in one way or
another, during their own lives, by the enthroned Past. Copernicus was
afraid to publish during his lifetime, lest he be burned as heretic. Gauss only
revealed his liberating discovery of non-Euclidean geometries after his
death, for fear of the clamor of the Boeotians. It is therefore not surprising
when the materialists persecute, by maligning, by conspiracy of silence,
cutting off from access to publicity, or by driving to suicide, as in the case of
Haushofer, those who think in 20th century terms and specifically reject the
methods and conclusions of 19th century materialism.
The 20th century view of History has to make its way over the ruins
of the linear scheme which insisted on seeing History as a progression from
an “Ancient” through a “Mediaeval” to a “Modern.” I say ruins, for the
scheme collapsed decades ago, but they are heavily defended ruins. Hidden
in them are the

materialists, the posthumous inhabitants of the 19th century, the “Progress”

philistines, the social-ethicians, the superannuated devotees of critical
philosophy, the ideologists of every description whatever.
Common to them all is Rationalism. They assume as a tenet of faith
that History is reasonable, that they themselves are reasonable, and that
therefore History has done, and will do, what they think it should. The
origin of the three-stage view of History is found in St. Joachim of Floris, a
Gothic religionist who put forward the three stages as a mystical
progression. It was left for the increasing coarseness of intellect devoid of
soul to make the progression a materialistic-utilitarian one. For two
centuries now, each generation has regarded itself as the peak of all the
previous striving of the world. This shows that Materialism is also a Faith, a
crude caricature of the precedent religion. It is supplanted now, not because
it is wrong — for a Faith can never be injured by refutation — but because
the Spirit of the Age is devoid of materialism.
The linear scheme was more or less satisfactory to Western man as
long as he knew nothing of history outside the Bible, Classic authors, and
Western chronicles. Even then, it would not have held up if the philosophy
of history had not been a neglected field of endeavor. However, a little over
a century ago began a spate of archaeological investigation, including
excavations and deciphering of original inscriptions in Egypt, Babylonia,
Greece, Crete, China and India. It continues today and now includes also
Mexico and Peru. The result of these investigations was to show the
historically-minded Western Civilization that it was by no means unique in
its historical grandeur, but that it belonged to a group of High Cultures, of
similar structure, and of equal elaboration and splendor. The Western
Culture is the first to have had both the intense

historical impetus as well as the geographic situation to develop a thorough

archaeology, which includes now within its purview the whole historical
world, just as Western politics at one time embraced the whole surface of the
The results of this profound archaeological science broke down the
old-fashioned linear scheme of regarding History. It was utterly unable to fit
in the new wealth of facts. Since there was some geographic, even though
no historical, community between the Egyptian, Babylonian, Classical, and
Western Cultures, it had been able to distort them somehow into a picture
that could convince those who already believed. But with the opening up of
the history of the Cultures that were fulfilled in India, China, Arabia,
Mexico, Peru — this view could no longer convince even believers.
Furthermore, the materialistic spirit, which had posited the
“influence” of preceding Cultures on subsequent ones, meanwhile died out,
and the new, psychological outlook on Life recognized the primacy of the
soul, the inner purity of the soul, and the superficiality of the process of
borrowing of externalia.
The new feeling about History was actually coeval with the
tremendous outburst of archaeological activity which broke down the old
linear scheme. The new outlook became a soul-necessity of Western
Civilization at the same time that the history-seeking activity did, even
though it was to remain half-articulate until the First World War. This
intense outburst of probing of the Past was an expression of a superpersonal
feeling that the riddle of History was not touched with the old linear device,
that it had to be unlocked, that the totality of facts must be surveyed. As the
new facts accumulated, the higher-ranking historians took a wider view, but
not until the latter part of the 19th century did any historian or philosopher
actually treat Cultures as separate organisms, with parallel

existence, independence, and spiritual equality. The idea of “cultural

history” itself was a forerunner of this view, and was a prerequisite to the
development of the 20th century outlook on History. The rejection of the
idea that History was merely the record of reigns and battles, treaties and
dates, marked an epoch. The feeling spread that “universal history” was
wanted, the combination of the history of politics, law, religion, manners,
society, commerce, art, philosophy, warfare, erotic, literature, into one great
synthesis. Schiller was one of the first to articulate this general need,
although both Voltaire and Winckelmann had written specific histories along
these lines.
Hegel, on a spiritual basis, and Comte and Buckle, materialistically,
developed further the idea of total history, i.e., cultural history. Burckhardt
not only produced a quite perfect example of a cultural history in his Italian
Renaissance book, but developed a philosophy of history-writing pointing
toward the 20th century outlook. Taine, Lamprecht, Breysig, Nietzsche,
Meray, all are milestones in the development away from the linear view of
history. In their times, only Nietzsche, and to a lesser extent, Burckhardt
and Bachofen, understood the 20th century idea of the unity of a Culture.
But two generations later the idea of the unity of a High Culture is general in
the highest spiritual stratum of Europe, and has become a prerequisite to
both historical and political thinking.
What was this linear view of History? It was either a mere arbitrary
breaking-up of historical materials for handling and reference, without any
claim to philosophical significance, or else it was an attempt at a philosophy
of history. Its pretensions to the latter could not very well hold up in view of
the fact that for generations the starting-point of the “Modern” age has been
shifted around from century to century with complete freedom. Each writer
has formulated the significance and dates of the three stages differently and
the various formulations exclude

one another. But if they are not the same view, why the same terminology?
Thus it was no philosophy of history, but a mere set of three names
which were retained because of a sort of magic which was supposed to
inhere in them. Nor was it a satisfactory method of breaking up the
historical facts for reference purposes, since it left no place for China and
India, and since it treated the Babylonian and Egyptian, in every way the
historical equals of the Classical and our own, as though they were mere
episodes, together constituting a prelude to the Classical. For this grotesque
History-outlook, a millennium in Egypt was a footnote, while ten years in
our own century were a volume.


The basis of the linear view was Cultural egocentricity, or in other

words the unconscious assumption that the Western Culture was the focus of
the whole meaning of all human history, that previous Cultures had
importance only insofar as they “contributed” something to us, but that in
themselves they had no importance whatever. This is why the Cultures
which lived in areas remote from Western Europe are hardly even
mentioned. These famous “contributions” — what was meant was a few
technical devices from the Egyptian and Babylonian Cultures, and the
Cultural remains generally of the Classical. The Arabian, again, was almost
totally ignored, for geographic reasons. And yet Western architecture,
religion, philosophy, science, music, lyric, manners, erotic, politics, finance,
economics all are totally independent of the corresponding Classical forms.
It is the archaeological cast of the Western soul, its intensely historical
nature, that prompt it to reverence what mere geography might indicate is a
spiritual ancestor.
And yet — who believes, or ever did actually believe, that the

Rome of Hildebrand, of Alexander VI, of Charles V, or of Mussolini, had

any continuity whatever with the Rome of Flaminius, Sulla, Caesar? This
whole Classicistic yearning of the West, with its two high points in the
Italian Renaissance and above all, in Winckelmann’s movement, was
actually nothing but a literary-Romantic pose. If we had known less of
Rome and more of Mecca, Napoleon’s title might have been Caliph instead
of First Consul, but nothing would have inwardly altered. The endowing of
words and names with magic significance is quite necessary and legitimate
in religion, philosophy, science, and criticism, but is out of place in an
outlook on History.
Even in the Italian Renaissance, Francesco Pico wrote against the
mania for the Classical: “Who will be afraid to confront Plato with
Augustine, or Aristotle with Thomas, Albert, and Scotus?” Savonarola’s
movement also had cultural, as well as religious, significance: into the
bonfires went the Classical works. The whole Classicist tendency of the
Italian Renaissance has been too heavily drawn: it was literary, academic,
the possession of a few small circles, and those not the leading ones in
thought or action.
And yet this movement has been put forward as the “link” between
two Cultures that have nothing in common in order to create a picture of
History as a straight line instead of as the spiritually parallel, pure,
independent, development of High Cultures.
To the religious outlook, with its branches, philosophy and criticism,
“Progress-philistinism,” and social ethics, facts figure only as proof, and
lack any other interest. To the historical outlook, facts are the material
sought after, and even doctrines, dogmas, and truths, are treated as simply
facts. Previous Western ages were thus satisfied by the linear scheme,
despite its

complete independence of the facts of history. To the 20th century,

however, with its center of gravity in politics, History is not a mere
instrument of proving or illustrating any dogma, or socio-ethical “Progress”
theory, but the source of our effective world-outlook.
And so, in implicit obedience to the Spirit of the Age, the leading
minds of the 20th century reject the old-fashioned, anti-factual, linear theory
of History. In its place the Spirit of the Age has shown the actual structure
of human history, the history of eight High Cultures, each an organism with
its own individuality and destiny. The older type of philosophy of history
forced the facts to prove some religious, ethical, or critical theory; the 20th
century outlook takes its philosophy of history from the facts.
The 20th century outlook is none the less subjective because it starts
from facts; it is merely obeying the inner imperative of its own historical
soul in seeing its History-picture thus. Our view is none the less peculiarly
ours because it gives priority to facts; other types of men, outside the
Western Culture, or beneath it, will never be able to understand it, any more
than they can understand higher Western mathematics, Western technics,
physics, or chemistry, Gothic architecture or the art of the fugue. This
picture of History, absolutely compulsory as it is for the leading men of
thought of action in the Western Civilization, is no compulsion for the
masses that throng in the streets of the Western capitals. Historical relativity
is, like physical relativity, the possession of a few leading minds. History is
not experienced, nor made, in the streets, but on the heights. The number of
men in the Western Civilization who were aware of the actual meaning of
the Second World War is countable in thousands. Western philosophy, from
the days of Anselm, has always been esoteric. No less so is the 20th century

outlook, and correspondingly small is the number of those for whom it is a

soul-necessity. But the number for whom the decisions of these few will be
decisive is not numbered in hundreds, but in hundreds of millions.
To the 20th century, the regarding of all previous human happening as
merely introductory to, and preparatory to our own Western history, is
simply immense naiveté. Evolutions that required just as long as our
millennium of Western history are contracted into mere casual events; the
men in these other Cultures are treated as though they were children, dimly
trying to attain to one or another of our specifically Western ideas. But in
each of these previous Cultures, the stage was reached and passed that we
attained to in the 19th and 20th centuries: free science, social ethics,
democracy, materialism, atheism, rationalism, class war, money,
nationalism, annihilation-wars. Highly artificial living conditions,
megalopolitan sophistication, social disintegration, divorce, degeneration of
the old arts to mere formlessness — they exhibited all these familiar
The vast amount of historical knowledge of which the 20th century
must take account — knowledge unearthed by the historical age which
succeeded to the age of Criticism — can tolerate no arbitrary forcing of the
facts of history into a preconceived scheme with three magical stages, which
must remain three even though no one can agree where one begins and the
other leaves off, and of which the third stage has been prolonged indefinitely
since Professor Horn of Leyden announced in 1667 his discovery of “the
Middle Ages.”
The first formulation of the 20th century outlook on History only
came with the First World War. Previously, only Breysig had definitely
broken with the linear scheme, but his earlier work covered only a part of
human history. It was left to

Spengler, the philosopher of the age, to set forth the full outline of the
structure of History. He himself was the first to recognize the superpersonal
nature of his work, when he said that an historically essential idea is only in
a limited sense the property of him to whose lot it falls to parent it. It was
for him to articulate that at which everyone was groping. The view of
others was limited by one or another specialist horizon, ant their projects
were consequently incomplete, one-sided, top-heavy. Like all products of
genius, Spengler’s work seems perfectly obvious to those who come
afterwards, and again, it was directed to those to come and not to
contemporaries. Genius is always directed toward the Future; this is in its
nature, and this is the explanation of the usual fate of all works of genius,
political and economic, as well as artistic and philosophical, that they are
understood in their grandeur and simplicity only by the after-world of their

The Structure of History

One of the unconscious assumptions of the linear scheme was the idea
of the singularity of civilization. The concept “civilization” was used as
though all highly symbolic Life, wherever and whenever it appeared, was
really a manifestation of the same thing — “civilization.” “Civilization”
outside of the West was imperfect, striving to be Western, stammering and
fumbling. This “civilization” was something that previous ages had stupidly
allowed to slip away, but somehow it was always found again, hidden in a
book somewhere, and “passed on” to the Future.
Again this was Rationalism: it assumed that men made their own
history, and whatever happened was traceable to human excellence or to
human mistakes.
But, to the pinnacle of historical insight and self-conscious grand
historical creativeness of deeds that is the 20th century, History is the record
of the lives of eight High Cultures, each an organism, impressed with the
principle of individuality, each thus a member of a Life-form. The type
High Culture is a Life-form

at the peak of the organic hierarchy of which plants, animals, and man are
the lower members. Each of the Cultures that we have seen is a member of
this higher genus, an individual. Belonging as they do to one genus, they
have common characteristics in their general habitue, their life-necessities,
their technic of self-expression, their relation to landscape and population-
streams, and their life span.
The differences among the Cultures are in their souls, their
individualities, and thus, despite their similar structure, their creations are in
the highest degree dissimilar. In the organic hierarchy, the principle of
individuality is manifested at an increasing level of concentration from
plants, through animals, to man. Cultures are even more highly individual
than men, and their creations are correspondingly less capable of any inward
assimilation by other Cultures.
With the passing of the Age of Materialism, the West knows once
more that the development of an organism is the unfolding of a soul. The
matter is the mere envelope, the vehicle of the expression of the spirit. It is
this ancient and universal wisdom that is the primary source of the liberation
of our History-outlook from the darkness and oppressiveness of Mechanism.
The events of a human life are the expressions of the soul of that human at
its successive stages of unfolding. The identical outward occurrence is a
different experience for each human being: an experience is a relationship
between a soul and an outer event. Thus no two persons can have the same
experience, because the identical event is quite different to each different
Similarly the reactions of each Culture-soul to externals of landscape,
population-streams, and events and movements outside the Culture-area, are
individual to each Culture. The religious experiences of each Culture are
unique: each Culture has its own non-transferable way of experiencing and
depicting the

Godhead, and this religious style continues right through the life span of the
Culture, and determines completely the philosophy, science, and also the
anti-religious phenomena of the Culture. Each Culture has its own kind of
atheism, as unique as its religion. The philosophy and science of each
Culture never become independent of the religious style of the Culture; even
Materialism is only a profane caricature of the basic religious feeling of the
The choice of art-forms, and the content of the art-forms, are
individual to each Culture. Thus the Western is the first to invent oil-
painting, and the first to give primacy to music. The number-feeling of the
Culture develops in each its own mathematics, which describes its own
number-world, which again is inwardly non-transferable, even though
external developments may be partially taken over, and then inwardly
transformed by other Cultures. The State-idea is likewise individual, as are
the Nation-idea, and the style of the final Imperium, the last political
creation of the Culture.
Each Culture has its own style in technics — weak and crude in the
Classical and Mexican-Peruvian, colossal and earth-shaking in our own —
its own war-style, its own relation to economics, its own history-style, or
organic tempo.
Each Culture has a different basic Morale, which influences its social
structure, feelings, and manners, its intensity of inner imperative, and thus
the ethical style of its great men. This basic morale determines the style of
public life during the last great phase of the life of the Culture the
Not only are the Cultures differentiated from one another by their
highly developed representation of the principle of individuality, but each
age of each Culture has its own stamp, which sets it off from its preceding
age, and from the succeeding. These differences loom larger to the humans
within a Culture

than the difference between one Culture and another. This is the optical
illusion of greater size produced by nearness. To us the difference between
1850 and 1950 seems vast — to the history of 2150 it will be much less so.
We have the feeling before we study history that 1300 and 1400 were
spiritually much the same, but in fact, in that century there were spiritual
developments as far-reaching as those between 1850 and 1950.
Here again, the linear scheme distorted History utterly: it said
“Ancient” and thought that thereby it was describing one thing, one general
spirituality. But Egypt and Babylonia both had their own corresponding
phenomena to our Crusades, Gothic religion, Holy Roman Empire, Papacy,
Feudalism, Scholasticism, Reformation, Absolute State, Enlightenment,
Democracy, Materialism, Class War, Nationalism, and annihilation wars.
So did the others — the Chinese, Indian, Arabian, Classical, and Mexican.
The extent of information available is quite different with regard to the
various Cultures, but enough remains to show the structure of History.
Between one age of Egyptian history and the next, there was as much
difference as between 1700, the period of our Spanish Succession Wars, and
1800, our Napoleonic Wars. This illusion about distance finds an analogy in
the spatial world; a distant mountain range looks smooth; nearer, it is rocky.
The idea that “civilization” was one certain thing, rather than an
organic life-phase of a Culture, was a part of the “Progress” ideology. This
profane religion, its own peculiar mixture of Reason and Faith, satisfied a
certain inner demand of the 19th century. Further research will probably
discover it in other Cultures. It seems to be an organic necessity of
Rationalism to feel that “things are getting better all the time.” Thus
“progress” was a continuous moral improvement of “humanity,” a
movement toward more and better “civilization.” The ideology

was formulated slightly differently by each materialist, but it was not

allowed to dispute that “Progress” occurred. To do so marked one as a
“pessimist.” The ideal toward which there was continual “progress” was
necessarily unattainable, for if it could be attained, “progress” would cease,
and this was unthinkable.
Such a picture fitted the Age of Criticism, but in an historical Age this
picture becomes just one more object of interest, as being the expression of
one certain life-stage of a certain Culture. It is on a par with the world-
picture of imminent catastrophe of mid-14th century, the witch obsession of
the 16th century, the Reason-worship of the 18th century. All these outlooks
possess now only historical significance. What interests us is that once they
were believed. But as for trying to force the old-fashioned “progress”
ideology on the 20th century, such an attempt is ludicrous; whoever would
try stamps himself as an anachronistic mediocrity.


The word history has been employed to cover all human events, those
manifesting the development of a Culture, and those outside of any Culture.
But the two classes of events have nothing in common. Man as a species is
one Life-form, Culture-man is another. The word history therefore
designates separate things in the two cases.
In what is man as a species distinct from other Life-forms, such as
plants and animals? Simply in his possession of a human soul. This soul
shapes for man a different world from the world of other forms of life.
Man’s world is a world of symbols. Things that for animals contain no
meaning, and no mystery, have for man a symbolic significance. Outside of
a High

Culture, this symbolizing-necessity shows itself in the formation of primitive

culture. Such cultures have an animistic religion, an ethic of tabu and totem,
and social-political forms on the same level. Such cultures are not a unity,
i.e., no single prime symbol is actualized in all the forms of the culture.
These cultures are mere sums, collections of motives and tendencies.
Nowhere is primitive man without some primitive culture of this type.
Man as a pure animal does not exist. All animals have a purely economic-
reproductive existence: their whole individual lives consist in the process of
nourishing and reproducing themselves, their lives have no spiritual
superstructure above this plane.
Nevertheless, man’s life in primitivity, and in an area where a High
Culture is fulfilling itself, are two incommensurable things. The difference
is so vast as to constitute one of kind, and not of mere degree. Vis-à-vis the
history of Culture-man, primitive man seems merely zoological. The history
that Stanley found in progress on his African explorations was of the one
kind, and Stanley himself represented the other kind. Similarly zoological is
the history of the lake-dwellers in Switzerland, the Chinese today, the Arabs,
Bushmen, Indians, Amerindians, Lapps, Mongols, and the countless other
tribes, races, and peoples outside our Western Civilization.
The animal is solely concerned with economics, primitive man sees
hidden meanings in the world — but Culture-man regards his high symbols
as the content of Life. A High Culture reshapes entirely the economic
practice of the populations upon whom it sets its grip; it reduces economics
to the bottom of the pyramid of life. To a High Culture, economics has the
same significance that the function of eating has to an individual. Above
economics are all the manifestations of the High Culture’s life: architecture,
religion, philosophy, art, science,

technics, education, politics, erotic, city-building, imperialism, society. The

significance an individual has is the reflex of his personal connection with
the symbols of the Culture. This valuation itself is produced by the Culture
to an anti-cultural outlook such as the curious “materialistic interpretation of
history,” any proletaire is worth more than Calderon, for Calderon was not a
manual laborer, and therefore accomplished nothing in a world whose entire
significance is economic.
The difference between the history of man as a species and the history
of man in the service of High Culture is that the first is devoid of grand
meaning, and that only the second is the vessel of high significance. In high
history, men risk all and die for an Idea; in primitivity there are no
superpersonal ideas of this force, but only personal strivings, crude lust for
booty or formless power. Consequently it would be an error to regard the
difference as merely quantitative. The example of Genghis Khan shows
this: the events he let loose were considerable in size, but in the cultural
sense they have no significance whatever. There was no Idea in this
sweeping descent of the followers of an adventurer. His conquests were
fatal to hundreds of thousands, the empire he erected lasted generations
beyond him, but it was simply there — it stood for nothing, represented
nothing beyond itself. Napoleon’s empire on the other hand, brief though it
was, was laden with symbolic meaning that is still at work in the minds of
Western men, and that is, as we shall see, pregnant with the Future of the
West. High Cultures create the greatest wars, but their significance is not
merely that they open rivers of blood, but that these men fall in a struggle of
After a High Culture has fulfilled itself, the populations in its former
area return to the condition of primitivity, as the examples of India, China,
Islam, and Egypt tell us. The world-cities

empty themselves, the outer barbarians plunder them bare, and the men that
are left are once more clans, tribes, nomads. When outer events do not
destroy the remains utterly, the caste system of the last stage remains
indefinitely, as in India and China, but it is the mere skeletal remains of the
former Culture, which, like everything living, passes away, never to return.
The memory of the Culture remains, but the attitude of the remaining
populations toward its products is once more entirely primitive, unchanging,
purely personal.
The abandoned world-cities return once more to the landscapes which
they once dominated. World-cities that were once as proud as Berlin,
London, and New York disappeared under jungle vegetation or the sands of
the plain. This was the fate of Luxor, Thebes, Babylon, Pataliputra,
Samarra, Uxmal, Tezcuco, Tenochtitlan. In the latter cases, even the names
of the great cities have perished, and we call them after nearby villages. But
it is an unimportant detail whether the city lies dead upon the surface,
inhabited by a few clans who farm in the open spaces, fight in the streets,
and shelter in the abandoned structures, or whether the sands shift over the
crumbling remains.


It was a remarkably curious phenomenon that when the organically

necessary historical outlook on History, replacing the religious and critical-
philosophical outlooks of previous Western ages, appeared early in the 20th
century, it was greeted by the day-before-yesterday thinkers with a cry of
“Pessimism.” By this word it was apparently thought possible to conjure
away the spirit of the coming age, and summon to new life the dead spirit of
an age that had passed away. To abstract inorganic thought this feat did not
seem considerable, since it regarded History as the field wherein one could
do whatever he wanted to make the Past dance to his own tune.
The word pessimism was a polemical word — it described an attitude
of general despair, which was supposed to color opinions and assessments of
facts. Any person who seriously used this word showed thereby that he was
willing to treat a world-historical philosophy in an electioneering fashion.
Obviously an asserted fact should be examined entirely independently of the
attitude of him asserting it. The whole pessimism cry is thus an ad hominem
argument, and worthless. Facts are not pessimistic

or optimistic, sane or insane — an optimist may assert a fact, a madman

may, a pessimist may. Describing the man who uttered the fact still leaves
entirely open the correctness or incorrectness of the fact. Its purely ad
hominem nature was the first weakness in the “Pessimism” view of the 20th
century outlook on History.
Pessimism only describes an attitude, and not facts, and hence is
entirely subjective. The attitude toward life that Nietzsche continually
belabored as “Pessimism” in its turn described Nietzsche as a pessimist, and
both were undoubtedly correct. If someone else thinks my plans are
doomed, I consider him a pessimist, from my standpoint. Similarly, if I
think his aspirations will come to naught, he thinks me a pessimist. We are
both correct.
The “Progress” ideologists, smug in their secure mental armor,
insulated from all contact with Reality, naturally felt it to be insulting in the
extreme when it was suggested that their particular Faith also had a life span,
was also, like all previous world-pictures, merely a description of a
particular soul of a certain age, and thus was destined to pass away. To say
that the “Progress” religion would come to an end with the Age whose inner
demands it satisfied was to deny the truth of this religion, since it claimed to
be a universal description of all human history. What was worse was that
the 20th century outlook on History was formulated in such a strict factual
way as to be compelling to the 20th century mind. This meant that
catchwords had to be employed against it, since no other form of disputation
would avail. With the single word “Pessimism;” it was hoped to strangle the
20th century outlook on History.
It would be mistaken to put this down to the malice of the “Progress”
religionists. No age submits quietly to the Spirit of the coming age.
The witchcraft religionists certainly did not agree with the first
materialists who denied the very existence of witches. The

conflict between the Established and the Becoming goes on continually, and
the Becoming always prevails. It does so, not because it is true, and the
Established was false, but because both were the lifestage of an organism, a
Culture. Truth and falsehood have as little to do with this process as they do
with the transformation of the boy into a youth, the youth into a man, the
man into a dotard. The grandson is no more true than the grandfather, yet he
will prevail, because of the organic advantage he has. Similarly does the
historical attitude of the 20th century supplant the 19th century religion of
Materialism. Materialism, Rationalism, “Progress,” are all worn out, but the
historical attitude of the 20th century is full of vigor and promise, eagerness
to set itself to its great factual tasks, to create its great deeds. This organic
necessity alone gives it its compelling quality. No one in this gigantic age
when nations are world powers in one decade, and colonies in the next, can
conscientiously maintain even before himself any shallow and infantile
pretense that underneath all these cataclysms there is the meaning of a
steady “moral improvement” of “humanity.”
Some men have been rational for short periods — this is the sum total
of the appearance of Reason in History. But such men have never made
History, for it is irrational. The pretense of Reason being the meaning of
History was itself irrational, since it was a product of History.
When the worship of Reason was instituted in Revolutionary France
as a religion — a Faith — a fille de joie was crowned as the Goddess of
Reason. Even Rationalism bears the stamp of Life — it is irrational.
The meaning of the word pessimism must be further laid bare. As we
have seen, the word is subjective, and thus describes everybody, if he has a
conviction that something is doomed. Suppose I say — Imperial Rome
inwardly decayed, and within a

few centuries the Roman idea was completely dead. Is this pessimism? My
grandfather is dead — am I a pessimist to say so? Someday I shall die —
pessimism? Everything living must die — pessimism? To Life belongs
Death — pessimism? Is there any example of an individual which has
moved completely outside the organic sequence of that Life-form to which
he belongs, and remained constantly at one life-stage for such long time-
periods as to justify the conclusion that it was a case of Life without Death?
An example would be a man who lived for — not 100 years, for we all
believe such a man will eventually die — but two or three hundred years,
and continually at one life stage, say the biological age of 65 years.
We know no such man, no such life-form. The criers of “pessimism”
will call this pessimism, no doubt. We should keep up the pretense before
ourselves all of our individual lives that we shall not die, for to admit
mortality is pessimism.
History discloses seven precedent High Cultures to us. Their
gestation-periods were morphologically identical, as were their birth-pangs,
their first life-activities, their growth, their mature stages, their great
Civilization-crises, their final life-forms, the gradual relaxing, the coming to
each of a time when one had to say, looking at the landscape where the
mighty being had fulfilled itself, that it was no longer, that it had died. This
realization gives extreme pain to the “Pessimism” wailers, and I know of no
remedy for their pain. These seven Cultures are dead — it would have been
much more remarkable if they had gone on forever.


But our Civilization is itself a stage of a High Culture, the Culture of

the West. Its millennium of history shows that it is an individual organism
belonging to the Life-form High Culture.

Can fact-thinkers pretend that it belongs to the Life-form but has no Life-
The question can now be formulated: exactly how is it “Pessimism” to
say that since seven High Cultures fulfilled themselves that an eighth will
also? If this is “Pessimism,” then anyone admitting his own mortality is
inevitably a “Pessimist.” The alternative to pessimism thus becomes idiocy.
However pessimism is an attitude, and if someone says that to admit
the fact that Life is fulfilled in Death is pessimism, he shows something
about himself. He shows his own cowardly fear of death, his entire lack of
heroism, of respect for the mysteries of Being and Becoming, his shallow
materialism. One must never forget that these same people are the ones who
write and read, in their book and magazine press, a literature on indefinitely
prolonging the life-span of the human species. Again, this shows something
about them. How they delight in juggling insurance statistics in such a way
as to make them think they are living longer! This is their valuation of life:
the longest life is the best. To this mentality, a short and heroic life is sad,
not inspiring. Heroism generally is thus merely foolish, since indefinitely
prolonged life is the aim of “Progress.”
In the Gothic religious times, the Western form of the idea of
immortality of the soul was formed and developed. With the age of
Materialism, this became caricatured into the immortality of the body. The
doctor of medicine became the priest of the new religion, and a whole
literature glorified him as the ultimate human type, since he was saving life.
And yet, shocking though it is to these people, Death continues to
accompany Life. 20th century wars take more lives than 19th century wars.
The generations continue their procession to the grave, and even the most
cowardly materialist, who can never admit that anything living will ever die,
goes the way of the materialists in the other eight Cultures.

To people who live in a nameless terror of personal death, naturally

the idea of the passing away of a superpersonal soul is also horrible and
frightening. Materialists have never been respecters of facts — whatever
was not measurable by their ruler did not exist. Historical facts are per se
uninteresting to a rationalist outlook, which begins with a critical principle,
and not with facts, and it was hardly to be expected that a view of history
resting on five millennia of history rather than on a simple philosophical
platitude would take them along with it.
It is curious that the Pessimism-wailers, who denied the Culture
would ever die, also denied the organic nature of a Culture. In other words,
they also denied it lives. Their materialism compelled them to the last, their
cowardice to the first. Most important about all their attitudes was that they
did not understand the central idea of the 20th century outlook. The
hundreds of volumes that they wrote against it each one echoing the magic
word “Pessimism” — show that distressingly clearly. On every page is a
fundamental misunderstanding of the great thesis. By their lack of
comprehension, they provided another proof of the accuracy of the outlook,
for the view of one age only reflects the soul of that age, and the 20th
century outlook was definitely not adapted to their 19th century outlook.
One great historical fact could have given them consolation: the
passing of this Culture, which was not alive, and also would never die,
according to them, would mean little to them in particular. In the first place,
a Culture is not born, nor does it die in a few years; these processes are
measured in generations and centuries. Thus no man could ever see a
Culture appear or disappear, and no materialist would ever be obliged to
undergo the painful experience of watching it die. More important, the lives
of the ordinary people, on the everyday plane of life, are little affected by the
presence of the Culture or the Civilization, during and after its passing, the
life of the ordinary people, in

its stark fundamentals, is simply life. The great numbers vanish, since they
were only there to perform the last great life-tasks of the Civilization; the
artificial living-conditions go, the great wars cease, the great demands, the
great deeds. Pacifism — organic pacifism, not ideological pacifism, which
stirs up wars — is the end-condition of a Culture.
Now then, the materialists are exclusively among the ordinary people
— what concern have they with great things like heroism, great wars, and
imperialism? Therefore the end of a Culture should beckon to them.
Actually, however, their whole terror rested on an illusion. It would be as
foolish for someone now to worry about the events of 2300 A.D. as it would
have been for Frederick the Great to worry about the conditions of 1900. He
could not have imagined those exact conditions, hence he could not have
planned for them, hence it would have been foolish for him to dread them.
They were to be the concern of other people. The day’s demands, as Goethe
said, constitute one’s immediate duty. We living in Europe today have a
certain task imposed upon us by the situation, the times, and our own inner
imperative. The most we can do about forming the remote Future is to do
our utmost in giving to this age the strong and manly form it demands. The
generation after the next will have its task also, and the only way we can
make ourselves effective in their age will be so to conduct ourselves now
that our deeds and example will live after us.
To a materialist, this is pessimism.


There are many intellectuals who stop at the title of leading works of
an historical age: these gathered the basis for their charge of pessimism
against the 20th century world-outlook

from the title of the first book fully to outline it: The Decline of the West.
Decline had a definitely pessimistic sound to these gentlemen; they needed
no more. In his essay Pessimism? (1921), Spengler mentioned that some
people had confused the sinking of a Culture with the sinking of a
steamship, whereas, as applied to a Culture, the idea of a catastrophe was not
contained in the word. He explains further that this title was decided upon in
1911, when, in his words, “the shallow optimism of the Darwinistic age lay
over the West-European-American world.” He prepared the book, in which
he set forth the thesis of an age of annihilation-wars for the immediate
future, for the coming age, and chose the title to contradict the prevailing
optimism. In 1921, he wrote, he would choose a title that would contradict
the equally shallow pessimism then prevailing.
If pessimism be defined as seeing nothing more to be done, it does not
touch a philosophy which sets forth task after task remaining to the Western
Civilization. Apart from the political and economic, to which this work is
devoted, Western physics, chemistry and technics all have their peaks before
them, as have also archaeology and historical philosophy. The formulation
of a legal system freed from philology and conceptualizing is also a need.
National economy needs to be approached and organized thoroughly in the
20th century spirit, and above all, an education must be created, in the grand
sense of consciously training the coming generations, in the full light of the
historic necessity of our Future, for the great life-tasks of the Civilization.
The cry of “Pessimism” is dying down — the 20th century outlook on
History surveys from its historical peak and to its own unique, vast,
historical horizons, the life-courses of eight High Cultures accomplished,
and even looks boldly and confidently

into its own Culture’s future, yet to be accomplished. Readers in 1950 have
forgotten, and readers in 2050 will possibly have no way of finding out, that
before the 20th century outlook on History appeared, unrealized history was
regarded as a blank tablet on which man might write whatever he wished.
This was of course the instinctive attitude of no single man of action — they
have to know better in order to accomplish the veriest trifle, but even they
had to maintain the pretense that the Future was carte blanche.
No one thinks in this fashion during the second half of the 20th
century; the bleating of the rationalists and the whimpering of the
materialists are growing fainter. Even they are now talking about History,
instead of about their old platitudes. Even their press now fits out its herd of
readers with a history-outlook. History begins in 1870, and it ends after the
next war; each war is portrayed as the last. This History-picture did service
for more than a generation, and its very existence in materialistic journalism
is a sign of the increasingly historical attitude of the age. After the First
World War, a “League of Nations” was established to bring about “World
Peace,” and there was a considerable number of persons in the Western
Civilization who took it seriously. Within the short space of one generation,
however, a second “League” was founded after a Second World War, but
this time, owing to the inner victory in the West of the 20th century world-
outlook which had occurred meanwhile, almost no one looked upon the
“League” as anything other than a localization of diplomatic war-
preparations between the two remaining powers. We have come a long way
from the old “Progress” days.
The tables are turned on the wailers of “Pessimism.” Actually they
are merely the representatives of the Spirit of an Age that has gone forever.
Thus they are anachronistic in this Age, and to the extent that they try to
intervene in its Life, they must

fight against its every expression-tendency. They can only negate the Future
with their hopeless attempt to revive the Past. Does not this make them
The definitive word can now be said about pessimism, and about
optimism, for the two are inseparable as concepts. If pessimism is despair,
optimism is cowardice and stupidity. Is there any need to choose between
them? They are twin soul-diseases. Between them lies realism, which
wants to know what is, what must be done, how it can be done. Realism is
historical thinking, and it is also political thinking. Realism does not
approach the world with a preconceived principle to which things ought to
submit — it is this prime stupidity which begets both pessimism and
optimism. If it looks as though things will not fit, so to declare is
pessimism. Optimism continues to pretend that they do, despite the entire
course of History, to the contrary. Of the two diseases, optimism is more
dangerous to the soul, for it is more blind. Pessimism, by not being afraid to
affirm the unpleasing, is at least capable of seeing, and may yield to a
flaring-up of healthy instincts.
Every captain must prepare for both victory and defeat, and tactically,
the latter part of his plan is more important, and no captain would refrain
from taking measures to apply in defeat because someone said to him that
this was pessimism. Let us go further — a hundred odd Americans were
surrounded in 1836 in the Alamo by Mexican armies numbering thousands.
Was it pessimistic for them to realize that their position was hopeless? But
there happened something which the materialists — the real pessimists —
can never understand. The members of the tiny garrison did not allow the
obvious hopelessness of the situation to affect their personal conduct —
every man chose to fight on rather than surrender. They thought rather of
what was left to do than of the ultimate annihilation.
This was also the attitude of the Kamikaze pilots who in the

Second World War drove their explosive-laden airplanes on to enemy ships

of war. Not only is this attitude entirely outside any stupid optimism-
pessimism scheme, but it is the essence of heroism itself. Fear of death does
not prevent the hero from doing what has to be done. The 20th century has
this heroic attitude once more, and it thinks of its task, and not of the
ultimate end of all Life in Death. Least of all does it fear death so much,
both individual death and the fulfillment of the Civilization within which we
must actualize our possibilities, that it attempts to deny Death in any way. It
wants to live Life, not cringe before Death. Optimism and pessimism are for
cowards, weaklings, fools, and stupid persons, incapable of appreciating the
mystery, power, and beauty of Life. They shrink from sternness and
renunciation, and escape from the brutality of facts into dreams of
immortality of the body, and indefinite perpetuation of the world-outlook of
the 19th century.
As I write — 1948 — these cowardly pessimists lord it over the
submerged Western Civilization, propped up by extra-European forces.
They pretend that all is well, now that Europe is the spoils for powers from
without, sunk to the level of India and China. The 20th century spirit,
however, which they hate because it is young and full of Life, intends to
sweep them one day soon into History’s dust-bin, whither they were long
since consigned. Theirs is the attitude — Do nothing. And yet they have the
temerity to brand the representatives of the 20th century spirit with the
positive attitude of accomplishment as “Pessimists.” The materialists and
Liberals talk of “return” to better conditions — always return. The new
spirit commands: Forward to our greatest Age of all.
This age and its spirit would not shrink from entering upon its task of
building the Empire of the West even if it were told that the outer forces are
too strong, that they will never succeed.

It prefers to die on its feet rather than live on its knees, like the materialists
and other cowards who now make themselves serviceable to the outsiders in
their great task of looting and destroying the Western Civilization.
The great ethical imperative of this age is individual truth-to-self, both
for the Civilization and its leading persons. To this imperative, an
unfavorable situation could never bring about an adaptation of one’s self to
the demands of the outsider, merely in order to live in slavish peace. One
asserts himself, determined on personal victory, against whatever odds exist.
The promise of success is with the man who is determined to die proudly if
it is no longer possible to live proudly.

The Civilization-Crisis

All the cultures arrived at the point in their development when their
possibilities for culture — in the narrower sense — were fulfilled. The Life-
directions of religion, philosophy, and the arts of form, were fully expressed
and formed definitively. The Counter-Reformation was the period of the
definitive shaping of Western religious formative potentialities, and thence-
forward religion was on the defensive against profane tendencies, which
gradually increased and finally, with the turn of the 19th century, gained the
upper hand. Kant is the high point of Western possibilities in inorganic
philosophy, as was his contemporary Goethe for organic philosophy.
Mozart is the high point of music, the art that the Western Culture chose as
its most perfect for its own soul.
Naturally the Culture had always had both an inner and outer life;
politics and war had always continued, since they are inseparable from the
life of Culture-man. But in the first centuries of the Culture — say until
1400 — Religion had dominated the total Cultural life. Gothic architecture,
Gothic sculpture,

glass-painting and fresco — all these arts had served religious expression,
and these centuries may be called the Age of Religion. This period yielded
to new tendencies, less inward, reflected also in the greater development of
trade and economic production. The new tendencies are more urban; they
contain more adaptation to the external world, but they are still primarily
inward. The arts pass into the custody of “Great Masters,” and become
emancipated from religion. The maturity of the Culture shows itself in its
development at this time of its greatest and most refined art. In the West,
this was music; in the Classical, it was sculpture.
The Reformation and Counter-Reformation are both steps away from
the Age of Religion. Philosophy becomes independent of theology, and
natural science challenges dogmas of Faith. The basic attitude toward the
world is still sacred, but the illuminated foreground widens constantly. This
period is the Baroque in our Culture, lasting from 1500 to 1800, the Ionic in
the Classical.
During these centuries, the politics reflected the strict formative stage
of the Culture. The struggle for political power was strictly within the
bounds imposed by the Culture-soul. Armies were small, professional; war
was the possession of the nobility; peace treaties were arrived at by
negotiation and compromise; honor was present at every decision of politics
or war.
The later Baroque produced the Age of “Enlightenment.” Reason was
now felt as all-powerful, and to challenge its almightiness became as
unthinkable as it would have been to challenge God in Gothic times. The
English philosophers from Locke onward, and the French Encyclopedists
who adopted their ideas, were the custodians of the spirit of this age.
By 1800, the externalizing tendency has prevailed completely over the
old inwardness of the strict Culture. “Nature” and

“Reason” are the new gods; the outer world is regarded as primary. From
having examined his own soul, and having expressed its formative
possibilities to the limit in the inner world of religion, philosophy, and art,
Culture-man now finds his imperative directed to subjecting the outer world
to himself.
The great symbol of this transition in our Culture is Napoleon, in the
Classical, Alexander. They represented the victory of Civilization over
Civilization is in one way a denial of the Culture, in another way it is
the sequel. It is organically necessary, and all the Cultures went through this
stage. This present work is concerned throughout with the problems of
Civilization in general, and of our immediate problem for the period 1950-
2000 in particular. Therefore it is not necessary to do more than present in
this place a bare outline of the significance to the organism of the
With the triumph of Reason comes an immense liberating effect on
the Culture-populations. The feelings that were formerly expressed only in
strict forms, whether in art, war, cabinet-politics, or philosophy, are now
given free rein, increasingly independent of Culture-bounds. Rousseau for
instance, advocated the doing away with all Culture, and the descent of
Culture-man to the purely animal plane of economics and reproduction. Art
develops increasingly away from strict form, from Beethoven to our day.
The ideal of the Beautiful yields finally to the ideal of the Ugly. Philosophy
becomes pure social-ethics, when it is not a coarse and crude metaphysics of
materialism. Economics, formerly merely the foundation of the great
structure, now becomes the focus of immense energy. It too succumbs to
Reason, and in this field, Reason formulates the quantitative measure of
value, Money.
Reason applied to politics produced Democracy; applied to

war, it produced the mass army to replace the professional one, and the
dictate instead of the treaty. The authority and dignity of the Absolute State
are felt as tyranny by the new life-tendencies, and in heavy battles, the forces
of Money, Economics, and Democracy overcome the State. For its
responsible, public, leadership, is substituted the irresponsible, private, rule
of anonymous groups, classes, and individuals, whose interests the
parliaments serve. The psychology of monarchs is replaced by the
psychology of crowds and mobs, the new base for power of the man of
Production, technics, trade, public power, and — above all —
population-numbers increase fantastically. These numbers are produced by
the enormous final life-task of the Culture, namely the subjection of its
known world to its domination. In an area where formerly there were 80
millions there are now 260 millions.
The great common denominator of the Civilization ideas is
mobilization. The masses of the Culture-populations, and the masses whom
they conquer, the earth itself, and the power of intellectual ideals — all are


From the standpoint of the whole life of the organism this stage is a
crisis, for the whole idea of the Culture itself is attacked, and the custodians
of the Culture must wage a battle of more than two centuries against inner
attacks, in class war. Down beneath the Culture, the idea awakens in the
minds of intellectuals that this Culture is a thing that must be done away
with, that man is an animal and is corrupted by development of his soul.
Philosophies appear, denying the existence of anything but matter; life is
defined as a physico-chemical process; its

twin-urges are economic and reproductive; anything above this level is

sinful. Both from the economic leaders and from the class-warriors comes
the doctrine that all life is nothing but economics. From self-styled
“psychologists” comes the doctrine that life is nothing but reproduction.
But the strength of the organism, even in crisis, is too great for a few
intellectuals and their mobs to destroy it, and it goes its way. In the Western
Civilization, the expansive tendency reached the point where by 1900,
18/20ths of the surface of the earth was controlled politically from Western
capitals. And this development merely brought an aggravation of the crisis,
for this power-will of the West gradually awakened the slumbering masses
of the outer world to political activity.
Before the inner war of classes had been liquidated, the outer war of
races had begun. Annihilation-wars and World Wars, continuous internal
strain in the form of unrelenting class-war, which regards outer war merely
as a means of increasing its demands, the revolt of the colored races against
the Western Civilization — these are the forms which this terrible crisis
takes in the 20th century.
The peak of this long crisis exists now, in the period 1950-2000, and
possibly in these very years will be decided forever the question whether the
West is to fulfill its last life-phase. The proud Civilization which in 1900
was master of 18/20ths of the earth’s surface, arrived at the point in 1945,
after the suicidal Second World War, where it controlled no part whatever of
the earth. World power for all great questions was decided in two outer
capitals, Washington and Moscow. The smaller questions of provincial
administration were left to the nations-become-colonies of the West, but in
power-questions, the regimes based in Russia and America decided all.
Where formal control was left with Europe, as in Palestine, actual control

was retained in Washington. The food-rations, trade-union policy, leaders,

and tasks of the former Western nations were decided upon outside of
In 1900, the State-system of Europe reacted as a unit when the
negative will of Asia thought, by the Boxer rebellion, to drive out the
Imperialism of the West from China. Western armies from the leading
States moved in, and smashed the revolt. Less than half a century later,
extra-European armies are moving freely about Europe, armies containing
Negroes, Mongols, Turkestani, Kirghizians, Americans, Armenians,
colonials and Asiatics of all areas. How did this happen?
Quite obviously, through the inner division of the West. This division
was not material — material cannot divide men if their minds agree. No, it
was spiritual division that brought Europe into the dust. Half of Europe had
a completely different attitude toward Life, a different valuation of Life,
from the other half. The two attitudes were respectively the 19th century
outlook, and the 20th century outlook. The division continues, and the
amount of food a man in the Western Civilization can eat is dependent on
the decision of someone in Moscow or Washington. When the spiritual
division of Europe comes to an end the extra-European powers will be
unable to hold down the strong-willed populations of Europe.
The first step in action is thus the liquidation of the spiritual division
of Europe. There is only one basis on which this can be done; there is only
one Future, the organic Future. The only changes that can be brought about
in a Culture are those which its life-stage necessitates. The 20th century
outlook is synonymous with the Future of the West, the perpetuation of the
19th century outlook means the continuation of the domination of the West
by Culture-distorters and barbarians. The task of the present work is the
presentation of all the fundamentals of the

20th century outlook necessary as the framework for comprehending and

thorough action. First is the Idea — not an ideal which can be summed up
in a catchword, or one which can be explained to an alien, but a living,
breathing, wordless feeling, which already exists in all Westerners, articulate
in a very few, inchoate in most. This Idea, in its wordless grandeur, its
irresistible imperative, must be felt, and thus only men of the West can
assimilate it. The alien will understand it as little as he has always
understood Western creations and Western codes. In his victory parade in
Moscow in 1945, the barbarian exhibited his Western captive slaves to the
jeering crowds of his cities, and made them drag their national flags behind
them in the dust. If any Westerner thinks that the barbarian makes nice
distinctions between the former nations of the West, he is incapable of
understanding the feelings of populations outside a High Culture toward that
Culture. Tomorrow the captive slaves offered up to the annihilation-
instincts of the Moscow mobs may be drawn from Paris, London, Madrid, as
well as from Berlin. A continuation of the spiritual division of the West
makes this not only possible but absolutely inevitable. Both the outer forces
are working for the continued division of the West; within they are helped
by the least worthy elements in Europe. This is addressed however to the
only people that matter — the Westerners who can feel the Imperative of the
Future working within them.
It is necessary that their world-outlook be the same in all its
fundamentals, and we know in this historical age that the prevailing
spirituality of an age is a function of its soul, and that comparatively little
latitude is allowed in its necessary formulation. Therefore, the present work
contains not arguments, but commands of the Spirit of the Age. These
thoughts and values are necessary for us. They are not personal, but super-

and compulsory for men who intend to do something with their lives.
Our action-task is dictated for us by the fact that the soil of our
Civilization is occupied by the outsider. Our inner imperative and outlook
on Life is determined for us by the Age. A part of the outlook of any age is
simply the negation of the outlook of the previous age. Each age has to
assert its new spirit against its predecessor, which would continue, even in
the stage of rigor mortis, to dominate the spiritual landscape of the Culture.
In establishing itself, the new spirit must deny the hostile old one. In a
substantial part, therefore, our 20th century outlook is the negative of the
19th century materialism. Having destroyed this dank ruin, it erects over it
its own, appropriate, view of the world and Life.
Since this is written for those whose world-view is researched to its
very foundations, the preliminary, negative, aspect must be equally
thorough. The world view of the millions is the task of journalism, but those
who think independently have an inner necessity for a comprehensive
picture. The great foundations of the old outlook were Rationalism and
Materialism. They will be completely examined in this work, but here it is
proposed to treat only three thought-systems, Darwinism, Marxism,
Freudianism, products of materialistic thought, all of which were the focus
of great spiritual energy in the 19th century, and which, continuing to have a
vogue in the early 20th century, contributed greatly to lead Europe into its
present abyss.


One of the most fruitful discoveries of the 20th century was the
metaphysics of nations. The unveiling of the Riddle of History showed that
nations are different manifestations of the soul of the High Cultures. They
exist only in Cultures, they have their life span for political purposes, and
possess — vis-à-vis the other nations of the Culture — individuality. Each
great nation is given an Idea, a life-mission, and the history of the nation is
the actualizing of this Idea. This Idea, again, must be felt, and cannot be
directly defined. Each Idea, to actualize which a given nation was chosen by
the Culture, is also a stage of the development of the Culture. Thus Western
History presents during the recent centuries, a Spanish period, a French
period, an English period. They correspond to Baroque, Rococo, and early
Civilization. These nations owed their spiritual and political supremacy
during these years solely to the fact that they were the custodians of the
Spirit of the Age. With the passing of the Age, these custodians of its Spirit
lost their spiritually dominating position in the Culture.

The early Civilization was the English period of the West, and all the
thought and activity of the whole Civilization was on the English model. All
nations embarked upon economic imperialism of the English type. All
thinkers became Anglicized intellectually. English thought-systems ruled
the West, systems which reflected the English soul, English life-conditions,
and English material conditions. Prime among these systems was
Darwinism, which became popular, and thus politically effective.
Darwin himself was a follower of Malthus, and his system implies
Malthusianism as a foundation. Malthus taught that population increase
tends to outrun increase of food supply, that this represented an economic
danger, and that “checks” on this population increase alone can prevent it
from destroying a nation, such as epidemics and wars, unhealthy living
conditions and poverty. Malthusianism expressly regards care for the poor,
the aged, and orphans, as a mistake.
A word on this curious philosophy; first it has no correspondence
whatever to facts, and therefore is not valid for the 20th century.
Statistically it has no basis, spiritually it shows complete incomprehension of
the prime fact of Destiny, Man, and History — namely that the soul is
primary, and that matter is governed by soul-conditions. Every man is the
poet of his own History, and every nation of its History. A rising population
shows the presence of a life-task, a declining population points to
insignificance. This philosophy would legitimate a man’s existence by
whether or not he is born into an adequate food-area! His gifts, his life task,
his Destiny, his soul, are put at naught. It is one example of the great
philosophic tendency of materialism: the animalization of Culture-man.
Malthusianism taught that the food-population ratio imposed a
continuous struggle for existence among men. This “struggle

for existence” became a leading-idea for Darwinism. The other leading

ideas of Darwinism are found in Schopenhauer, Erasmus Darwin, Henry
Bates, and Herbert Spencer. Schopenhauer in 1835 set forth a Nature-
picture containing the struggle for self-preservation, human intellect as a
weapon in the struggle, and sexual love as unconscious selection according
to the interest of the species. In the 18th century, Erasmus Darwin had
postulated adaptation, heredity, struggle, and self-protection as principles of
evolution. Bates formulated before Darwin the theory of Mimicry, Spencer
the theory of descent, and the powerful tautological catchword “survival of
the fittest” to describe the results of the “struggle.”
This is only the foreground, for actually the road from Darwin back to
Calvin is quite clear: Calvinism is a religious interpretation of the “survival
of the fittest” idea, and it calls the fit the “elected.” Darwinism makes this
election-process mechanical-profane instead of theological-religious:
selection by Nature instead of election by God. It remains purely English in
the process, for the national religion of England was an adaptation of
The basic idea of Darwinism — evolution — is as little novel as the
particular theories of the system. Evolution is the great central idea of the
philosophy of the 19th century. It dominates every leading thinker and
every system: Schopenhauer, Proudhon, Marx, Wagner, Nietzsche, Mill,
Ibsen, Shaw. These thinkers differ in their explanation of the purpose and
technique of evolution; none of them question the central idea itself. With
some of them it is organic, with most purely mechanical.
Darwin’s system has two aspects, of which only one is treated here,
for only one was effective. This was Darwinism as a popular philosophy.
As a scientific arrangement it had considerable

qualifications, and no one paid any attention to these when converting it to a

journalistic world-outlook. As the latter, it had a sweeping vogue, and was
effective as a part of the world-picture of the age.
The system shows its provenance as a product of the Age of Criticism
in its teleological assumptions. Evolution has purpose — the purpose of
producing man, civilized man, English man — in the last analysis,
Darwinians. It is anthropomorphic — the “aim of evolution” is not to
produce bacilli, but humanity. It is free trade capitalism, in that this struggle
is economic, every man for himself, and competition decides which life-
forms are best. It is gradual and parliamentary, for continual “progress” and
adaptation, exclude revolutions and catastrophes. It is utilitarian, in that
every change in a species is one that has a material use. The human soul
itself — known as the “brain” in the 19th century — is only a tool by which
a certain type of monkey advanced himself to man ahead of his fellow-
monkeys. Teleology again: man became man in order that he might be man.
It is orderly; natural selection proceeds according to the rules of artificial
breeding in practice on English farms.


As a world view, Darwinism cannot of course be refuted, since Faith

is, always has been, and always will be, stronger than facts. Nor is it
important to refute it as a picture of the world, since as such it no longer
influences any but day-before-yesterday thinkers. However, as a picture of
the facts, it is grotesque, from its first assumptions to its last conclusions.
In the first place, there is no “Struggle for existence” in nature; this
old Malthusian idea merely projected Capitalism on to the animal world.
Such struggles for existence as do occur

are the exception; the rule in Nature is abundance. There are plenty of plants
for the herbivores to eat, and there are plenty of herbivores for the carnivores
to eat. Between the latter there can hardly be said to be “struggle,” since
only the carnivore is spiritually equipped for war. A lion making a meal of a
zebra portrays no “struggle” between two species, unless one is determined
so to regard it. Even so, he must concede that it is not physically,
mechanically, necessary for the carnivores to kill other animals. They could
as well eat plants — it is the demand of their animal souls however to live in
this fashion, and thus, even if one were to call their lives struggles, it would
not be imposed by “Nature” but by the soul. It becomes thus, not a “struggle
for existence,” but a spiritual necessity of being one’s self.
The capitalistic mentality, engaged in a competition to get rich, quite
naturally pictured the animal-world also as engaged in an intensive
economic contest. Both Malthusianism and Darwinism are thus capitalistic
outlooks, in that they place economics in the center of Life, and regard it as
the meaning of Life.
Natural selection was the name given to the process by which the
“unfit” died out to give place to the “fit.” Adaptation was the name given to
the process by which a species gradually changed in order to be more fit for
the struggle. Heredity was the means by which these adaptations were saved
for the species.
As a factual picture, this is easier to refute than it is to prove, and
factual biological thinkers, both Mechanists and Vitalists, like Louis
Agassiz, Du Bois-Reymond, Reinke, and Driesch rejected it from its
appearance. The easiest refutation is the palaeontological. Fossil deposits
— found in various parts of the earth — must represent the possibilities
generally. Yet they disclose

only stable specie-forms, and disclose no transitional types, which show a

species “evolving” into something else. And then, in a new fossil hoard, a
new species appears, in its definitive form, which remains stable. The
species that we know today, and for past centuries, are all stable, and no case
has ever been observed of a species “adapting” itself to change its anatomy
or physiology, which “adaptation” then resulted in more “fitness” for the
“struggle for existence,” and was passed on by heredity, with the result of a
new species.
Darwinians cannot get over these facts by bringing in great spaces of
time, for palaeontology has never discovered any intermediate types, but
only distinct species. Nor are the fossil animals which have died out any
simpler than present-day forms, although the course of evolution was
supposed to be from simple to complex Life-forms. This was crude
anthropomorphism — man is complex, other animals are simple, they must
be tending toward him, since he is “higher” biologically.
Calling Culture-man a “higher” animal still treats him as an animal.
Culture-man is a different world spiritually from all animals, and is not to be
understood by referring him to any artificial materialistic scheme.
If this picture of the facts were correct, species ought to be fluid at the
present time. They should be turning into one another. This is, of course,
not so. There should actually be no species, but only a surging mass of
individuals, engaged in a race to reach — man. But the “struggle,” again, is
quite inconclusive. The “lower” forms, simpler — less fit? — have not died
out, have not yielded to the principle of Darwinian evolution. They remain
in the same form they have had for — as the Darwinians would say —
millions of years. Why do they not “evolve” into something “higher”?
The Darwinian analogy between artificial selection and natural

selection is also in opposition to the facts. The products of artificial

selection such as barnyard fowls, racing dogs, race horses, ornamental cats,
and song-canaries, would certainly be at a disadvantage against natural
varieties. Thus artificial selection has only been able to produce less fit life-
Nor is Darwinian sexual selection in accordance with facts. The
female does not by any means always choose the finest and strongest
individual for a mate, in the human species, or in any other.
The utilitarian aspect of the picture is also quite subjective — i.e.,
English, capitalistic, parliamentarian — for the utility of an organ is relative
to the use sought to be made of it. A species without hands has no need of
hands. A hand that slowly evolved would be a positive disadvantage over
the “millions of years” necessary to perfect the hand. Furthermore, how did
this process start? For an organ to be utile, it must be ready; while it is
being prepared, it is inutile. But if it is inutile, it is not Darwinian, for
Darwinism says evolution is utilitarian.
Actually all the technics of Darwinian evolution are simply
tautological. Thus, within the species it is individuals which have a
predisposition to adapt themselves that do so. Adaptation presupposes
The process of selection affects those specimens with definite
aptitudes which make them worthy of selection, in other words, they have
already been selected. Selection presupposes selection.
The problem of descent in the Darwinian picture is treated as finding
the interrelations of the species. Having assumed their interrelationship, it
then finds they are interrelated, and proves the interrelationship thus.
Descent presupposes descent.
The utility of an organ is a way of saying it works for this species.
Utility thus presupposes the existence of the very species which has the
organ, but lacking that organ. The facts however,

have never shown a species to pick up a certain missing organ, which

seemed necessary. A Life-form needs a certain organ because it needs it.
The organ is utile because it is utile.
The naive, tautological, doctrine of utility never asked “Utility for
what?” That which serves duration might not serve strength. Utility is not a
simple thing, but entirely relative to what already exists. Thus it is the inner
demands of a life-form which determine what it would like to have, what
would be useful to it. The soul of the lion and his power go together. The
hand of man and his brain go together. No one can say that the strength of
the lion causes him to live the way he does, nor that the hand of man is
responsible for his technical achievements. It is the soul in each case which
is primary.
This primacy of the spiritual inverts the Darwinian materialism on the
doctrine of utility. A lack can be utile: the lack of one sense develops
others; physical weakness develops intelligence. In man and in animals
alike, the absence of one organ stimulates others to compensatory activity —
this is often observed in endocrinology in particular.


The whole grotesquerie of Darwinism, and of the materialism of the

entire 19th century generally, is a product of one fundamental idea — an
idea which happens also to be nonfactual to this century, even though it was
a prime fact a century ago. This one idea was that Life is formed by the
outer. This generated the sociology of “environment” as determining the
human soul. Later it generated the doctrine of “heredity” as doing the same.
And yet, in a purely factual sense, what is Life? Life is the actualizing of
the possible. The possible turns into the actual in the midst of outer facts,
which affect only the precise

way in which the possible becomes actual, but cannot touch the inner force
which is expressing itself through, and, if necessary, in opposition to, the
outer facts.
Neither “heredity” nor “environment” determine these inner
possibilities. They affect only the framework within which something
entirely new, an individual, a unique soul, will express itself.
The word evolution describes to the 20th century the process of the
ripening and fulfilling of an organism or of a species. This process is not at
all the operation of mechanical-utility “causes” on plastic, formless,
protoplasmic material, with purely accidental results. His work with plants
led de Vries to develop his Mutation theory of the origin of species, and the
facts of palaeontology reinforce it to the extent of showing the sudden
appearance of new species. The 20th century finds it quite unnecessary to
formulate mythologies, either in cosmogony or biology. Origins are forever
hidden from us, and a historical viewpoint is interested in the development of
the process, not in the mysterious beginning of the process. This beginning,
as set forth by scientific mythology, and by religious mythology, has only an
historical interest to our age. What we note is that once these world-pictures
were actual and living.
What is the actual History of Life, as this age sees it? Various species
of Life exist, ranked, according to increasing spiritual content, from plants
and animals, through man, to Culture-man, and High Cultures. Some of the
varieties, as shown by fossils, existed in former earth-ages in their present
form, while other species appeared and disappeared.
A species appears suddenly, both in fossil-finds, and in the
experimental laboratory. Mutation is a legitimate description of the process,
if the idea is free from any mechanical-utility causes, for these latter are only
imagined, whereas mutations

are a fact. Each species has also a Destiny, and a given Life-energy, so to
speak. Some are stable and firm; others have been weak, tending to split off
into many different varieties, and lose their unity. They have also a life
span, for many have disappeared. This whole process is not at all
independent of geological ages, nor of astral phenomena. Some species,
however, outlast one earth-age into the next, just as some 19th century
thinkers have survived into the 20th century.
Darwinians offered also an explanation of the metaphysics of their
evolution. Roux, for instance, holds that the “fit for the purpose” survive,
while the “unfit for the purpose” die. The process is purely mechanical,
however, and is thus fitness for purpose without purpose. Nägeli taught that
an organism perfects itself because it contains within it the “principle of
perfection,” just as Moliere’s doctor explained that the sleeping potion
worked because of a dormitive virtue inherent in it. Weismann denied the
heredity of acquired characteristics, but instead of using it to destroy
Darwinism, as it obviously does — if every individual has to start anew,
how can the species “evolve”? — he props up the Darwinian picture with it
by saying that the germ-plasm contains latent tendencies toward useful
qualities. But this is no longer Darwinism, for the species does not evolve if
it is only doing what it tends to do.
These tautological explanations only convinced people because they
believed already. The age was evolutionary, and materialistic. Darwinism
combined these two qualities into a biologico-religious doctrine which
satisfied the capitalistic imperative of that age. Any experiments, any new
facts, only proved Darwinism; they would not have been allowed to do
The 20th century does not see Life as an accident, a playground for
external causes. It sees the fact that Life-forms begin

suddenly, and that the subsequent development, or evolution, is only the

actualizing of that which is already possible. Life is the unfolding of a Soul,
an individuality. Whatever explanation one gives of how Life started only
reveals the structure of his own soul. A materialistic explanation reveals a
materialist. Similarly the imputing of any “purpose” to Life as a whole
transcends knowledge and enters the realm of Faith. Life as a whole, each
great Life-form, each species, each variety, each individual, has however a
Destiny, an inner direction, a wordless imperative. This Destiny is the
primary fact of History. History is the record of fulfilled (or thwarted)
Any attempt to make man into an animal, and the animals into
automata, is merely materialism, and thus a product of a certain type of soul,
of a certain age. The 20th century is not such an age, and looks upon the
inner reality of the human soul as being the determinant of human history,
and the inner reality of the Soul of the High Culture as being the determinant
of the history of that Culture. The soul exploits outer circumstances — they
do not form it.
Nor does the 20th century, not being capitalistic, see any struggle for
existence going on in the world, either of men or animals. It sees a struggle
for power, a struggle that has no connection with cheap economic reasons.
It is a struggle for domination of the world that the 20th and 21st centuries
see. It is not because there is a shortage of food for the human populations
of the world — there is plenty of food. The question is power, and in the
decision of that question, food, human lives, material, and everything else
that the participants can dispose of, will come into play as weapons, and not
as stakes. Nor will it ever be decided, in the sense that a lawsuit can be
decided. Readers living in 2050 will smile when told that there was once a
rather widespread belief in the Western Civilization that the

First World War was the “last war.” The Second World War was also so
regarded, all during the preparations for the Third. It was a case of wish-
thinking pacifist idealism being stronger than facts.
Darwinism was the animalization of Culture-man by means of
biology; the human soul was interpreted as a mere superior technique of
fighting with other animals. We come now to Marxism, the animalization of
man through economics, the human soul as a mere reflex of food, clothing
and shelter.


Although England was the nation which actualized the ideas of the
early Civilization phase of the West — the period 1750–1900 — namely,
Rationalism, Materialism, Capitalism, yet these ideas would have been
actualized otherwise, even if England had been destroyed by some outer
catastrophe. Nevertheless, for England these ideas were instinctive. They
were wordless, beyond definition, self-evident. For the other nations of
Europe, they were things to which one had to adapt oneself.
Capitalism is not an economic system, but a world-outlook, or rather,
a part of a whole world-outlook. It is a way of thinking and feeling and
living, and not a mere technique of economic planning which anyone can
understand. It is primarily ethical and social and only secondarily
economic. The economics of a nation is a reflection of the national soul, just
as the way a man makes his living is a subordinate expression of his
Capitalism is an expression of Individualism as a principle of Life, the
idea of every man for himself. It must be realized that this feeling is not
universal-human, but only a certain stage

of a certain Culture, a stage that in all essentials passed away with the First
World War, 1914–1919.
Socialism is also an ethical-social principle, and not an economic
program of some kind. It is antithetical to the Individualism which
produced Capitalism. Its self-evident, instinctive idea is: each man for all.
To Individualism as a Life-principle, it was obvious that each man in
pursuing his own interests, was working for the good of all. To Socialism as
a Life-principle, it is equally obvious that a man working for himself alone is
ipso facto working against the good of all.
The 19th century was the age of Individualism; the 20th and 21st are
the ages of Socialism. No one has understood if he thinks this is an
ideological conflict. Ideology itself means: the rationalizing of the world of
action. This was the preoccupation of the early phase of the Western
Civilization, 1750–1900, but no longer engages the serious attention of
ambitious men. Programs are mere ideals; they are inorganic, rationalized,
anyone can understand them. This age however is one of a struggle for
power. Each participant wants the power in order to actualize himself, his
inner idea, his soul. 1900 could not understand what Goethe meant when he
said, “In Life, it is Life itself that is important, and not a result of Life.” The
time has passed away in which men would die for an abstract program of
“improving” the world. Men will always be willing to die however, in order
to be themselves. This is the distinction between an ideal and an idea.
Marxism is an ideal. It does not take account of living ideas, but
regards the world as a thing that can be planned on paper and then set up in
actuality. Marx understood neither Socialism nor Capitalism as ethical
world-outlooks. His understanding of both was purely economic, and thus a

The explanation Marxism offered of the significance of History was

ludicrously simple, and in this very simplicity lay its charm, and its strength.
The whole history of the world was merely the record of the struggle of
classes. Religion, philosophy, science, technics, music, painting, poetry,
nobility, priesthood, Emperor and Pope State, war, and politics — all are
simply reflections of economics. Not economics generally, but the
“struggle” of “classes.” The most amazing thing about this ideological
picture is that it was ever put forward seriously, or taken seriously.
The 20th century finds it unnecessary to contradict this History-
picture as a world-outlook. It has been supplanted, and has joined Rousseau.
The foundations of Marxism must however be shown, since the whole
tendency which produced it is one that this age is impelled to deny as a
premise of its own existence.
Being inwardly alien to Western philosophy, Marx could not
assimilate the ruling philosopher of his time, Hegel, and borrowed Hegel’s
method to formulate his own picture. He applied this method to capitalism
as a form of economy, in order to bring about a picture of the Future
corresponding to his own feelings and instincts. These instincts were
negative toward the whole Western Civilization. He belonged with the
class-warriors, who appear at a corresponding stage of every Culture, as a
protest against it. The driving-force of class-war is the will to annihilation
of Culture.
The ethical and social foundations of Marxism are capitalistic. It is
the old Malthusian “struggle” again. Whereas to Hegel, the State was an
Idea, an organism with harmony in its parts, to Malthus and Marx there was
no State, but only a mass of self-interested individuals, groups, and classes.
Capitalistically, all is economics. Self-interest means: economics. Marx

differed on this plane in no way from the non-class-war theoreticians of

capitalism — Mill, Ricardo, Paley, Spencer, Smith. To them all, Life was
economics, not Culture. To them all, it was the war of group against group,
class against class, individual against individual, whether they say so
expressly or not. All believe in Free Trade, and want no “state interference”
in economic matters. None of them regard society or State as an organism.
Capitalistic thinkers found no ethical fault with destruction of groups and
individuals by other groups and individuals, so long as the criminal law was
not infringed. This was looked upon as, in a higher way, serving the good of
all. Marxism is also capitalistic in this. Its ethics have super-added the
Mosaic law of revenge, and the idea that the competitor is evil morally, as
well as economically injurious.
The competitor of the “working-class” was the “bourgeoisie,” and
since the “victory of the working-class” was the sole aim of the entire
history of the world, naturally Marxism, being a philosophy of “Progress,”
ranged itself with the “good” worker against the “evil” bourgeois. The
necessity for thinking things are getting better all the time a spiritual
phenomenon which accompanies every materialism — was as indispensable
to Marxism as it was to Darwinism and 19th century philistinism generally.
Fourier, Cabet, Saint-Simon, Comte, Proudhon, Owen, all designed
Utopias like Marxism, but they neglected to make them inevitable, and they
forgot to make Hate the center of the system. They used Reason, but
Marxism is one more proof that Hate is more effective. Even then, one of
the older Utopias (that of Marx was the last in Europe, being followed only
by Edward Bellamy’s in America) might have played the Marxian role, but
they came from countries with lower industrial potential, and thus Marx had
a “capitalistic” superiority over them.


In the Marxian scheme, History got almost nowhere until the Western
Culture appeared, and its tempo accelerated infinitely precisely with the
appearance of Marxism. The class-war of 5,000 years was ready to be
finally wound up, and History was to come to an end. The “victory” of the
“proletariat” was to abolish classes, but it was also to dictate. A dictatorship
of the proletariat implies someone to receive the dictate, but this is one of the
mysteries of Marxism, which kept the conversation of disciples from
By the time Marxism appeared, there were, says the theory, only two
“classes” left, proletariat and bourgeoisie. Naturally, they had to carry on
war to the death, since the bourgeois was taking nearly all the proceeds of
the economic system, and were entitled to nothing. Au contraire, it was
precisely the proletaire who was getting nothing who was entitled to
everything. This reduction of classes to two was inevitable — all History
had only existed in order to bring about this dichotomy which would finally
be liquidated by the dictate of the proletariat. Capitalism was the name
given to the economic system whereby the wrong people were taking
everything, leaving nothing for the right people. Capitalism created the
proletariat by mechanical necessity, and equally mechanically, the
proletariat was fated to swallow up its creator. What the form of the Future
was to be was not included in the system. The two catchwords
“Expropriation of the Expropriators” and “Dictatorship of the Proletariat”
are supposed to contain it.
Actually it was, of course, not even in theory a plan for the Future, but
simply and solely a theoretical foundation for class war, giving it an
historical, ethical and economic-political

rationale. This is shown by the fact that in the preface to the second Russian
edition of the Communist Manifesto a theory was put forth by Marx and
Engels according to which Communism could come directly from Russian
peasantry to Proletariat-dictate without the long period of bourgeois-
domination which had been absolutely necessary in Europe.
The important part of Marxism was its demand for active, constant,
practical, class-war. The factory-workers were selected as the instruments
for this struggle for obvious reasons: they were concentrated, they were
being mistreated, they could thus be agitated and organized into a
revolutionary movement to realize the completely negative aims of the
coterie of Marx.
For this practical reason, Hate finds its way into a picture of History
and Life, and for this reason, the “bourgeois” — simply mechanical parts of
a mechanical evolution, according to Marx — are endowed with malice and
evil. Hatred is useful in fomenting a war which does not seem to be
occurring of itself, and to the end of increasing hatred, Marx welcomed lost
strikes, which created more hatred than successful ones.
Only to serve this purpose of action are the absurd propositions about
labor and value put forth. Marx understood journalism, and had no scruple
whatever about saying that the manual laborer is the only person who works,
who creates economic value. To this theory, the inventor, the discoverer, the
manager are economic parasites. The fact is, of course, that the manual type
of labor is merely a function of the value-creating, precedent, prerequisite
labor of organizer, entrepreneur, administrator, inventor. Great theoretical
importance was attached to the fact that a strike could stop an enterprise.
However, as the philosopher said, even a sheep could do that if it fell into
the machinery. Marxism, in the interests of simplification, denied even a
subsidiary value to the work of the creators. It had no

value — only manual labor had value. Marx understood propaganda long
before Lord Northcliffe was heard of. Effective mass-propaganda cannot be
too simple, and in the application of this rule, Marx should have received
some sort of prize: all History is class-war; all Life is class-war; they have
the wealth, let us take it.
Marxism imputed Capitalistic instincts to the upper classes, and
Socialistic instincts to the lower classes. This was entirely gratuitous, for
Marxism made an appeal to the capitalistic instincts of the lower classes.
The upper classes are treated as the competitor who has cornered all the
wealth, and the lower classes are invited to take it away from them. This is
capitalism. Trade unions are purely capitalistic, distinguished from
employers only by the different commodity they purvey. Instead of an
article, they sell human labor. Trade-unionism is simply a development of
capitalistic economy, but it has nothing to do with Socialism, for it is simply
self-interest. It pits the economic interest of the manual laborers against the
economic interest of the employer and manager. It is simply Malthus in new
company. It is still the old “struggle for existence,” man against man, group
against group, class against class, everyone against the State.
The instinct of Socialism however absolutely precludes any struggle
between the component parts of the organism. It is as hostile to the
mistreatment of manual laborers by employers as it is to the sabotage of
society by class-warriors. Capitalism convinces itself that a “Struggle for
Existence” is organically necessary. Socialism knows that any such
“struggle” is unnecessary and pathological.
Between Capitalism and Socialism there is no relationship of true and
false. Both are instincts, and have the same historical rank, but one of them
belongs to the Past, and one to the

Future. Capitalism is a product of Rationalism and Materialism, and was the

ruling force of the 19th century. Socialism is the form of an age of political
Imperialism, of Authority, of historical philosophy, of superpersonal
political imperative.
It is not at all a matter of terminology or ideals, but a matter of feeling
and instinct. The minute we begin to think that a “class” has responsibilities
to another class, we are beginning to think Socialistically, no matter what we
call our thinking. We may call it Buddhism, for all History cares, but we
will think that way. If we use the terminology of Capitalism and the practice
of Socialism, no harm is done, for practice and action are what matter in
Life, not words and names. The only distinction between types of Socialism
is between efficient and inefficient, weak and strong, timid and bold. A
strong, bold, and efficient Socialist feeling will, however, hardly use a
terminology deriving from an antithetical type of thought, since strong,
ascendant, full Life is consonant in word and deed.


Marxism showed its Capitalistic provenance in its idea of “classes,”

its idea toward work, and its obsession with economics. Marx was a Jew,
and had thus imbibed from his youth the Old Testament idea that work was a
curse laid upon man as a result of sin. Free Capitalism placed this same
value on work, regarding it as something from which to be delivered as a
prerequisite to the enjoyment of Life. In England, the classic land of
Capitalism, the ideas of work and wealth were the central ideas of social
valuation. The rich had not to work; the “middle classes” had to work, but
were not poor; the poor had to work to exist from one week to the next.
Thorstein Veblen, in his “Theory of the Leisure Class,” showed the wide

in the life of 19th century nations of this attitude toward work.

The whole atmosphere of the Marxian Utopia is that the necessity for
the proletariat to work will vanish with its “victory.” After the
“Expropriation,” the proletariat can retire, and even have ci-devant
employers for servants.
This attitude toward work is not universal-human, but a thing tied to
the existence of English Capitalism. Never before in the Western Culture
was there a prevailing feeling that work should be despised; in fact, after the
Reformation, the leading theologians all adopted a positive attitude toward
work as a high, if not the highest, value. From this period comes the idea
that to work is to pray. This spirit is once again uppermost, and Socialistic
instinct regards a man’s work, not as a curse laid upon him, a hated thing
from which money can free him, but as the content of his Life, the earthly
side of his mission in the world. Marxism has the opposite valuation of
work from Socialism.
Similarly, the Marxian concept of “class” has nothing to do with
Socialism. The articulation of society in Western Culture was at first into
Estates. Estates were primarily spiritual. As Freidank said in Gothic times:

God hath shapen lives three,

Boor and knight and priest they be.

These are not classes, but organic ranks. After the French Revolution
came the idea that the articulation of society was a reflection of the situation
of money-hoards. The term class was used to describe an economic layer of
society. This term was final for Marx, since Life to him was simply
economics, saturated as he was with the Capitalistic world-outlook.
But to Socialism, money-possession is not the determinant of rank in
society any more than it is in an Army. Social rank in Socialism does not
follow Money, but Authority. Thus Socialism

knows no “classes” in the Marxian-Capitalistic sense. It sees the center of

Life in politics, and has thus a definite military spirit in it. Instead of
“classes,” the expressions of wealth, it has rank, the concomitant of
Marxism is equally obsessed with economics as its contemporary
English environment. It begins and ends with economics, focusing its gaze
on the tiny European peninsula, ignoring the past and present of the rest of
the world. It simply wanted to frustrate the course of Western history, and
chose class-war as a technique for doing it.
There had been class-war before Marxism, but this “philosophy” gave
it a theory which said there was nothing else in the world. There had been
jealousy in the lower orders before Marxism, but now this jealousy was
given an ethical basis which made it alone good, and everything above evil.
Wealth was branded as immoral and criminal, its possessors as the arch-
criminals. Class-war was a competition, and something more it was a battle
of good against evil, and thus more brutal and unlimited than mere war.
Western thinkers like Sorel could not adopt this attempt to make the class-
war exceed any limitations of honor and conscience; Sorel conceived of
class-war as similar to international war, with protection of non-combatants,
rules of warfare, honorable treatment of prisoners. Marxism regarded the
opponent as a class-war criminal. The opponent could not be assimilated
into a new system; he was to be exterminated, enslaved, starved, persecuted.
The Marxist class-war concept thus far exceeded politics. Politics is
simply power-activity, not revenge-activity, jealousy, hatred, or “justice.”
Again, it has no connection with Socialism, which is political through and
through, and regards a defeated opponent as a member of the new, larger
organism, with the same rights and opportunities as those already in it.
This was one more connection of Marxism with Capitalism,

for the latter had a tendency to moralize politics, making the opponent into a
wicked person.
Lastly, Marxism differs from Socialism in being a religion, whereas
Socialism is an instinctive organizatory-political principle. Marxism had its
bible, its saints, its apostles, its heresy tribunals, orthodoxy and heterodoxy,
its dogmas and exegesis, sacred writings and schisms. Socialism dispenses
with all this; it is interested in procuring cooperation of men with the same
instincts. Ideology has even now little importance to Socialism, and in the
coming decades it will have ever less.
As Socialism creates the form of the Future, Marxism slips into the
Past with the other remnants of Materialism. The mission of Western man is
not to become rich through class-war; it is to actualize his inner ethico-
politico-Cultural imperative.


As was the case with Darwinism and Marxism, Freudianism has no

Cultural, but only anti-Cultural significance. All three are products of the
negative side of the Civilization-crisis, the side which destroys the old
spiritual, social, ethical, philosophical values, and substitutes for them a
crude Materialism. The principle of Criticism was the new god to whom all
the old values of the Western Culture were offered up. The spirit of the 19th
century is one of iconoclasm. The outstanding thinkers nearly all had their
center of gravity on the side of nihilism: Schopenhauer, Hebbel, Proudhon,
Engels, Marx, Wagner, Darwin, Duhring, Strauss, Ibsen, Nietzsche,
Strindberg, Shawl. Some of these were also, on the other side of their
beings, heralds of the Future, the spirit of the 20th century. The leading
tendency was however, materialistic, biological, economic, scientific —
against the soul of Culture-man and the hitherto acknowledged meaning of
his life.
Not on a par with them, but in their tradition, is the system of
Freudianism. The soul of Culture-man is attacked by it, not

from an oblique direction of economics or biology, but from the front. The
“science” of psychology is chosen as the vehicle to deny all the higher
impulses of the soul. On the part of the creator of psychoanalysis, this
assault was conscious. He spoke of Copernicus, Darwin, and himself as the
three great insulters of mankind. Nor was his doctrine free from the fact of
his Jewishness, and in his essay on The Resistance to Psychoanalysis, he
says that it is no accident that a Jew created this system, and that Jews are
readily “converted” to it, since they know the fate of isolation in opposition.
Vis-à-vis the Western Civilization Freud was spiritually isolated, and had no
recourse but to oppose.
Freudianism is one more product of Rationalism. It turns rationalism
on the soul, and finds that it is purely mechanical. It can be understood, and
spiritual phenomena are all manifestations of the sexual-impulse. This was
another one of those marvelous and grandiose simplifications which
guarantee popularity for any doctrine in an age of mass-journalism.
Darwinism was the popular outlook that the meaning of the life of the world
was that everything else was trying to become man-animal, and man was
trying to become Darwinian. Marxism: the meaning of all human life is that
the lowest must become the highest. Freudianism: the meaning of human
life is sexuality, actual, optative, conative, or otherwise. All three are
nihilistic. Culture-man is the spiritual enemy. He must be eliminated by
animalizing him, biologizing him, making him economic, sexualizing him,
diabolizing him.
To Darwinism, a Gothic cathedral is a product of mechanical
evolution, to Marx it is an attempt of the bourgeois to trick the proletariat, to
Freud it is a piece of frozen sexuality.
It is both needless and impossible to refute Freudianism. If everything
is sex, a refutation of Freudianism would also be

sexual in significance. The 20th century does not approach phenomena that
have become historical by asking whether they are true or false. To its
historical way of thinking, a Gothic cathedral is an expression of the
intensely religious, newly awakening young Western Culture, which
shadows forth the striving nature of this Culture-soul. In its necessity for
self-expression, however, this new outlook must reject the materialistic
tyranny of the older, immediately preceding outlook. It must free itself also
from Freudianism.
This last great attempt to animalize man also uses critical-rationalistic
methods. The soul is mechanical: it consists of one simple impulse, the
sexual instinct. The whole life of the soul is the process of this instinct
getting misdirected, twisted, turned upon itself. For it is elemental to this
“science” that this instinct cannot go correctly. To describe the mechanical
functions of the soul is to describe diseases. The various processes are
neurosis, inversion, complexes, repression, sublimation, transference,
perversion. All are abnormal, unhealthy, misdirected, unnatural. As one of
its abecedarian truths, the system states that every person is a neurotic, and
every neurotic is a pervert or invert. This applies not only to Culture-man,
but to primitive man as well.
Here Freud surpasses Rousseau, who at the beginning of the early
Civilization phase of the West, affirmed the purity, simplicity, and soul-
healthiness of the savage, in contrast to the wickedness and perversion of
Culture-man. Freud has widened the attack — the whole human species is
the enemy. Even if one did not know from all the other phenomena that the
early Civilization-phase of Materialism and Rationalism had closed, one
would know from this system alone, for such complete nihilism is obviously
not to be surpassed, expressing as it does anti-Cultural feeling to its
uttermost limits.

As a psychology it must be called a patho-psychology, for its whole

arsenal of terms describe only aberrations of the sexual instinct. The notion
of health is completely dissociated from the soul-life. Freudianism is the
Black Mass of Western Science.
Part of the structure of the system is the interpretation of dreams. The
purely mechanical workings of the “mind” (for there is no soul) are shown
by dreams. Not clearly shown, however, for an elaborate ritual is needed to
arrive at the real meaning. “Conscience censorship” — the new name for
Kant’s “moral reason” — “symbolism,” “repetition-compulsion” — these
and many more Kabbalistic numina have to be invoked. The original form
of the doctrine was that all dreams were wishes.
To dream of the death of a loved person was explained by
psychoanalysis as latent parent-hatred, the symptom of the almost universal
Oedipus-complex. The dogma was rigid: thus if the dream was of the death
of a pet dog or cat, the animal was the focus of the Oedipus-complex. If the
actor dreams of not knowing his part, it shows that he wishes he might
sometime be so embarrassed. In order to attract more converts, including
those of weaker faith, the doctrine was slightly changed, and other dream-
interpretations were admitted, such as the “repetition-compulsion,” when the
same fear-dream recurs regularly.
The dream-world of course reflected the universal sexuality of the
soul. Every conceivable object in a dream was capable of being a sexual
symbol. “Repressed” sexual instinct appeared in dreams, symbolizing,
transferring, sublimating, inverting, and running the whole gamut of
mechanical terminology.
Every person is a neurotic in his mature life, and it is no accident, for
he became so in his childhood. Experiences in infancy determine — quite
mechanically, since the whole process is non-spiritual — which particular
neuroses will accompany the person through his life. There is really nothing
that can be done

about it, except to deliver oneself into the care of a Freudian adept. One of
these announced that 98 per cent of all persons should be under the treatment
of psychiatrists. This was later in the development of the system; at first it
would have been 100 per cent, but, as with Mormonism, the original purity
of the doctrine was compromised by the Elders for reasons of expediency.
The average man who is doing his work presents a great illusion to the
eye of an observer — it looks as though he is doing what he is doing.
Actually, however, Freudianism shows that he is only apparently doing it,
for in actuality he is quietly thinking about sexual matters, and all that one
can see is the results of his sexual fantasy sifted through mechanical filters
of conscience-censorship, sublimation, transference, and the like. If you
hope, fear, wish, dream, think abstractly, investigate, feel inspired, have
ambition, dread, repugnance, reverence — you are merely expressing your
sexual instinct. Art is obviously sex, as are religion, economics, abstract
thought, technics, war, State and politics.


Freud earned thus, together with his cousin Marx, the Order of
Simplicity. It was the coveted Decoration of the age of Mass. With the
demise of the Age of Criticism, it has fallen into the discard, for the new
outlook is interested, not in cramming all the data of knowledge, experience,
and intuition, into a prefabricated mold, but in seeing what was, what is,
what must be. Over the portal of the new outlook is Leibnitz’s aphorism:
“The Present is loaded with the Past, and pregnant with the Future.” The
child is father to the man — this is ancient wisdom, and describes the
unfolding of the human organism

from infancy to maturity, every stage being related backwards and forwards
because one and the same soul speaks at every moment. Freudianism
caricatures this deep organic vision with a mechanical device whereby
childhood determines the form of maturity, and makes the whole organic
unfolding into a causal process, and what is more a diabolical, diseased one.
Insofar as it is Western at all, Freudianism is subject to the prevailing
spirituality of the West. Its mechanism and materialism reflect the 19th
century outlook. Its talk of the unconscious, of instinct, impulse, and the
like, reflects the fact that Freudianism appeared at the transition point in the
Western Civilization when Rationalism was fulfilled and the Irrational
emerged again as such. It was not at all in the terminology or the treatment
of the new, irrational elements in the doctrine that Freudianism presages the
new spirit, but simply and solely in the fact that irrational elements appear.
Only in this one thing does this structure anticipate; in every other way, it
belongs to the Malthusian-Darwinian-Marxian past. It was merely an
ideology, a part of the general Rationalistic-Materialistic assault on Culture-
The irrational elements that the system recognizes are subordinated
strictly to the higher rationalism of the adept, who can unravel them and lead
the suffering neurotic into the light of day. They are, if possible, even more
diseased than the rest of the mind-complex. They may be irrational, but they
have a rational explanation, treatment, and cure.
Freudianism appears thus as the last of the materialistic religions.
Psychoanalysis, like Marxism, is a sect. It has auricular confession, dogmas,
and symbols, esoteric and exoteric versions of the doctrine, converts and
apostates, priests and scholastics, a whole ritual of exorcism, and a liturgy of
mantle. Schisms appear, resulting in the foundation of new sects, each of

claims to be the bearer of the true doctrine. It is occult and pagan, with its
dream-interpretation, demonological with its sex-worship. Its world-picture
is that of a neurotic humanity, twisted and perverted in its strait jacket of
Western Civilization, toward whom the new priest of psychoanalysis
stretches out the hand of deliverance through the anti-Western Freudian
The Hatred that formed the core of Marxism is present in the newer
religion also. In both cases it is the hate of the outsider for his totally alien
surroundings, which he cannot change, and must therefore destroy.
The attitude of the 20th century toward the subject-matter of
Freudianism is inherent in the spirit of this age. Its center is in action —
external tasks call to Western soul. The best will hear this call, leaving those
to busy themselves with drawing soul-pictures who have no souls.
Scientific psychology was always thus — it has never attracted the
best minds in any Culture. It all rests on the assumption that it is possible by
thought to establish the form of what thinks, an extremely dubious
proposition. If it were possible to describe the Soul in rational terms — a
prequisite to a science of psychology — there would be no need for such a
science. The Reason is a part, or better, a partial function, of the Soul.
Every soul-picture describes only the soul of him who draws it, and those
like him. A diabolist sees things Freud-wise, but he cannot understand those
who see things otherwise. This explains the vileness of the Freudianistic
attempts to diabolize, sexualize, mechanize, and destroy all the great men of
the West. Greatness they could not understand, not having inward
experience of it.
Soul cannot be defined — it is the Element of Elements. Any picture
of it, any psychological system, is a mere product of it, and gets no further
than self-portrayal. How well we understand now that Life is more
important than the results of Life.

Psychology-systems use the terminology — in all Civilizations — of

the material sciences of physics and mechanics. They reflect thus the spirit
of natural science, and take rank therewith as a product of the age. To the
higher rank to which they aspired, namely the systematization of the Soul,
they do not attain. No sooner was Freudianism well-established as the new
psychoanalytic Church than the onward development of the Western
Civilization made it old-fashioned.
The psychology of the 20th century is one adapted to a life of action.
To this age psychology must be practical or it is worthless. The psychology
of crowds, of armies, of leadership, of obedience, of loyalty — these are
valuable to this age. They are not to be arrived at by “psychometric”
methods and abstruse terminology, but by human experience — one’s own,
and that of others. The 20th century regards Montaigne as a psychologist,
but Freud as merely the 19th century representative of the witch-obsession
of the Western Culture in its younger days, which was also a disguised form
of sex-worship.
Human psychology is learned in living and acting, not in timing
reactions or observing dogs and mice. The memoirs of a man of action,
adventurer, explorer, soldier, statesman, contain psychology of the type that
interests this age, both in and between the lines. Every newspaper is a
compendious instruction in the psychology of mass-propaganda, and better
than any treatise on the subject. There is a psychology of nations, of
professions, of Cultures, of the successive ages of a Culture, from youth to
senility. Psychology is one aspect of the art of the possible, and as such is a
favorite study of the age.
The greatest repository of psychology of all is History. It contains no
models for us, since Life is never-recurring, once-happening, but it shows by
example how we can fulfill our potentialities by being true to ourselves, by
never compromising with that which is utterly alien.

To this view of psychology, any materialism could not possibly be

psychology. Here Rousseau, Darwin, Marx, and Freud meet. They may
have understood other things, but the human soul, and in particular the soul
of Culture-man, they did not understand. Systems like theirs are only
historical curiosities to the 20th century, unless they happen to claim to be
appropriate descriptions of Reality. Anyone who “believes in” these
antiquated fantasies stamps himself as ludicrous, posthumous, ineffective,
and superfluous. No leading men of the coming decades will be Darwinians,
Marxians or Freudians.

The Scientific-Technical World-Outlook

Science is the seeking after exact knowledge of phenomena. In

discovering interrelations between phenomena, that is, observing the
conditions of their appearance, it feels it has explained them. This type of
mentality appears in a High Culture after the completion of creative religious
thought, and the beginning of externalizing. In our Culture, this type of
thinking only began to feel sure of itself with the middle of the 17th century,
in the Classical, in the 5th century B.C. The leading characteristic of early
scientific thinking, from the historical standpoint, is that it dispenses with
theological and philosophical equipment, only using them to fill in the
background, in which it is not interested. It is thus materialistic, in its
essence, in that its sole attention is turned to phenomena, and not to ultimate
realities. To a religious age, phenomena are unimportant compared with the
great spiritual truths, to a scientific age, the opposite is true.
Technics is the utilization of the macrocosm. It always accompanies a
science in its full blooming, but this is not to say that

every science is accompanied by technical activity, for the sciences of the

Classical Culture, and the Mexican Culture had nothing at all which we
would call technical proficiency. In the early Civilization stage, Science
predominates, and precedes technics in all its attempts, but with the turn of
the 20th century, technical thinking began to emancipate itself from this
dependence, and in our day, science serves technics, and no longer vice
In an Age of Materialism, which is to say, an anti-metaphysical age, it
was but natural that an anti-metaphysical type of thinking like science would
become a popular religion. Religion is a necessity for Culture-man, and he
will build his religion on economics, biology, or nature, if the Spirit of the
Age excludes true religion. Science was the prevalent religion of the 18th
and 19th centuries. While one was permitted to doubt the truths of the
Christian sects, one was not allowed to doubt Newton, Leibnitz, and
Descartes. When the great Goethe challenged the Newtonian light-theory,
he was put down as a crank, and a heretic.
Science was the supreme religion of the 19th century, and all other
religions, like Darwinism and Marxism, referred to its great parent-dogmas
as the basis for their own truths. “Unscientific” became the term of
From its timid beginnings, science finally took the step of holding out
its results, not as a mere arrangement and classification, but as the true
explanations of Nature and Life. With this step, it became a world-outlook,
that is a comprehensive philosophy, with metaphysics, logic and ethics for
Every science is a profane restatement of the preceding dogmas of the
religious period. It is the same Cultural soul which formed the great
religions that in the next age reshapes its world, and this continuity is thus
absolutely inevitable. Western

Science as a world-outlook is merely Western religion represented as

profane, not sacred, natural, not supernatural, discoverable, not revealed.
Like Western religion, science was definitely priestly. The savant is
the priest, the instructor is the lay brother, and a great systematizer is
canonized, like Newton and Planck. Every Western thought-form is
esoteric, and its scientific doctrines were no exception. The populace were
kept in touch with “the advance of science” through a popular literature at
which the high-priests of science smiled.
In the 19th century, science accreted the “Progress” idea, and gave its
own particular stamp to it. The content of “Progress” was to be technical.
“Progress” was to consist in faster motion, further sound, wider exploitation
of the material world ad infinitum. This showed already the coming
predominance of technics over science. “Progress” was not to be primarily
more knowledge, but more technique. Every Western world-view strives
after universality, and so this one declared that the solution of social
problems was not to be found in politics and economics, but in — science.
Inventions were promised which would make war too horrible for men to
engage in, and they would therefore cease warring. This naiveté was a
natural product of an age which was strong in natural science, but weak in
psychology. The solution of the problem of poverty was machinery, and
more machinery. The horrible conditions that had arisen out of a machine-
Civilization were to be alleviated by more machines. The problem of old
age was to be overcome by “rejuvenation.” Death was pronounced to be
only a product of pathology, not of senility. If all diseases were done away
with, there would be nothing left to die from.
Racial problems were to be solved by “eugenics.” The birth of
individuals was to be no longer left to Fate. Scientific priests

would decide things like parentage and birth. No outer events would be
allowed in the new theocracy, nothing uncontrolled. The weather was to be
“harnessed,” all natural forces brought under absolute control. There would
be no occasion for wars, everyone would be striving to be scientific, not
seeking power. International problems would vanish, since the world would
become one huge scientific unit.
The picture was complete, and to the materialistic 19th century, awe-
inspiring: all Life, all Death, all Nature, reduced to absolute order, in the
custody of scientific theocrats. Everything would go on this planet just as it
went in the picture of the heavens that the scientific astronomers had
sketched out for themselves; serene regularity would reign — but — this
order would be purely mechanical, utterly purposeless. Man would be
scientific only in order to be scientific.


Something happened, however, to disturb the picture, and to show that

it, too, bore the hall-mark of Life. Before the First World War, the
disintegration of the psychical foundations of the great structure had already
set in. The World War marks, in the realm of science, as in every other
sphere of Western life, a caesura. A new world arose from that war — the
spirit of the 20th century stood forth as the successor to the whole
mechanistic view of the universe, and to the whole concept of the meaning
of Life, as being the acquisition of wealth.
With truly amazing rapidity, considering the decades of its power and
supremacy, the mechanistic view paled, and the leading minds, even within
its disciplines, dropped away from the old, self-evident articles of
materialistic faith.
As is the usual case with historical movements, expressions

of a super-personal soul, the point of highest power, of the greatest victories,

is also the beginning of the rapid down-going. Shallow persons always
mistake the end of a movement for the beginning of its absolute dominance.
Thus Wagner was looked upon by many as the beginning of a new music,
whereas, the next generation knew that he had been the last Western
musician. The passing away of any expression of Culture is a gradual
process — nevertheless there are turning points, and the rapid decline of
science as a world-outlook set in with the First World War.
The down-going of science as a mental discipline had long preceded
the World War. With the theory of Entropy (1850), and the introduction of
the idea of irreversibility into its picture, science was on the road which was
to culminate in physical relativity and frank admission of the subjectivity of
physical concepts. From Entropy came the introduction of statistical
methods into systematic science, the beginning of spiritual abdication.
Statistics described Life and the living; the strict tradition of Western science
had insisted on exactitude in mathematical description of reality, and had
hence despised that which was not susceptible of exact description, such as
biology. The entrance of probabilities into formerly exact science is the sign
that the observer is beginning to study himself, his own form as conditioning
the order and describability of phenomena.
The next step was the Theory of Radioactivity, which again contains
strong subjective elements and requires the Calculus of Probabilities to
describe its results. The scientific picture of the world became ever more
refined, and ever more subjective. The formerly separate disciplines drew
slowly together, mathematics, physics, chemistry, epistemology, logic.
Organic ideas intruded showing once more that the observer has reached the
point where he is studying the form of his own Reason.

A chemical element now has a lifetime, and the precise events of its life are
unpredictable, indeterminate.
The very unit of physical happening itself, the “atom,” which was still
believed in as a reality by the 19th century, became in the 20th century a
mere concept, the description of whose properties was constantly changed to
meet and prop up technical developments. Formerly, every experiment
merely showed the “truth” of the ruling theories. That was in the days of the
supremacy of science as a discipline over technics, its adopted child. But,
before the middle of the 20th century, every new experiment brought about a
new hypothesis of “atomic structure.” What was important in the process
was not the hypothetical house of cards which was erected afterwards, but
the experiment which had gone before.
No compunction was felt about having two theories, irreconcilable
with one another, to describe the “structure” of the “atom,” or the nature of
light. The subject-matter of all the separate sciences could no longer be kept
mathematically clear. Old concepts like mass, energy, electricity, heat,
radiation, merged into one another, and it became ever more clear that what
was really under study was the human reason, in its epistemological aspect,
and the Western soul in its scientific aspect.
Scientific theories reached the point where they signified nothing less
than the complete collapse of science as a mental discipline. The picture
was projected of the Milky Way as consisting of more than a million fixed
stars, among which are many with a diameter of more than 93,000,000
miles; this again as not a stationary cosmic center, but itself in motion
toward Nowhere at a speed of more than 600 kilometers a second. The
cosmos is finite, but unlimited; boundless, but bounded. This demands of
the true believer the old Gothic faith again:

credo quia absurdum, but mechanical purposelessness cannot evoke this

kind of faith, and the high priests have apostatized. In the other direction,
the “atom” has equally fantastic dimensions — a ten-millionth of a
millimeter is its diameter, and the mass of a hydrogen atom stands to the
mass of a gram of water as the mass of a post card stands to the mass of the
earth. But this atom consists of “electrons,” the whole making up a sort of
solar system, in which the distances between the planets is as great, in
proportion to their mass, as in our solar system. The diameter of an electron
is one three-billionth of a millimeter. But the closer it is studied, the more
spiritual it becomes, for the nucleus of the atom is a mere charge of
electricity, having neither weight, volume, inertia nor any other classic
properties of matter.
In its last great saga, science dissolved its own psychical foundations,
and moved outside the world of the senses into the world of the soul.
Absolute time was dissolved, and time became a function of position. Mass
became spiritualized into energy. The idea of simultaneity was discarded,
motion became relative, parallels cut one another, two distances could no
longer be said absolutely to equal one another. Everything which had once
been described by, or had itself described, the word Reality, dissolved in the
last act of the drama of science as a mental discipline.
The custodians of science as a mental discipline, one after another,
abandoned the old materialistic positions. In the last act, they came to see
that the science of a given Culture has as its real object the description, in
scientific terms, of the world of that Culture, a world which again is the
projection of the soul of that Culture. The profound knowledge was realized
through the very study of matter itself that matter is only the envelope of the
soul. To describe matter is to describe oneself,

even though the mathematical equations drape the process with an apparent
objectivity. Mathematics itself has succumbed as a description of Reality:
its proud equations are only tautology. An equation is an identity, a
repetition, and its “truth” is a reflection of the paper-logic of the identity-
principle. But this is only a form of our thinking.
The transition from 19th century materialism to the new spirituality of
the 20th century was thus not a battle, but an inevitable development. This
keen, ice-cold, mental discipline turned the knife on itself because of an
inner imperative to think in a new way, an anti-materialistic way. Matter
cannot be explained materialistically. Its whole significance derives from
the soul.


Materialism from this standpoint appears as a great negative. It was a

great spiritual effort to deny the spirit, and this denial of the spirit was in
itself an expression of a crisis in the spirit. It was the Civilization-crisis, the
denial of Culture by Culture.
For the animals, that which appears — matter — is Reality. The
world of sensation is the world. But for primitive man, and a fortiori for
Culture-man, the world separates out into Appearance and Reality.
Everything visible and tangible is felt as a symbol of something higher and
unseen. This symbolizing activity is what distinguishes the human soul
from the less complicated Life-forms. Man possesses a metaphysical sense
as the hall-mark of his humanity. But it is precisely the higher reality, the
world of symbols, of meaning and purpose, that Materialism denied in toto.
What was it then, but the great attempt to animalize man by equating the
world of matter with Reality, and merging him into it? Materialism was not

because it was false; it simply died of old age. It is not false even now — it
merely falls on deaf ears. It is old-fashioned, and has become the world
view of country cousins.
With the collapse of its Reality, Western science as a mental
discipline has accomplished its mission. Its by-product, science as a world-
outlook now belongs to yesterday. But as one of the results of the Second
World War, there appeared a new stupidity — technics-worship as a
philosophy of Life and the world.
Technics has in its essence nothing to do with science as a mental
discipline. It has one aim: the extraction of physical power from the outer
world. It is, so to speak, Nature-politics, as distinguished from human
politics. The fact that technics proceeds on one hypothesis today, and on
another tomorrow, shows that its task is not the formation of a knowledge-
system, but the subjecting of the outer world to the will of Western man.
The hypotheses that it proceeds on have no real connection with its results,
but merely afford points of departure for the imagination of technicians to
think along new lines for new experiments to extract ever more power.
Some hypotheses are of course necessary; precisely what they are is
Technics is even less capable than science, then, of satisfying the need
for a world-outlook to this age. Physical power — for what?
The age itself supplies the answer: physical power for political
purposes. Science has passed into the role of furnishing the terminology and
ideation for technics. Technics in turn is the servant of politics. Ever since
1911, the idea of “atomic energy” has been in the air, but it was the spirit of
war which first gave this theory a concrete form, with the invention, in 1945,
by an unknown Westerner of a new high explosive which depends for its
effect on the instability of “atoms.”
Technics is practical; politics is sublimely practical. It has

not the slightest interest in whether a new explosive is referred to “atoms,”

“electrons,” “cosmic rays,” or to saints and devils. The historical way of
thinking which informs the true statesman cannot take today’s terminology
too seriously when he remembers how quickly yesterday’s was dropped. A
projectile which can destroy a city of 200,000 persons in a second — that
however is a reality, and affects the sphere of political possibilities.
It is the spirit of politics which determines the form of war, and the
form of war then influences the conduct of politics. Weapons, tactics,
strategy, the exploitation of victory — all these are determined by the
political imperative of the age. Each age forms the entirety of its
expressions for itself. Thus to the form-rich 18th century, warfare also was a
strict form, a sequence of position and development, like the contemporary
musical form of variations on a theme.
An odd aberration occurred in the Western world after the first
employment of a new high-explosive in 1945. Essentially, it was referable
to remnants of materialistic thinking, but there were also perennially old
mythological ideas in it. The idea arose that this new explosive would blow
up the whole planet. In the middle of the 19th century, when the railway
idea was projected, the medical doctors said that such swift motion would
generate cerebral troubles, and that even the sight of a train rushing past
might do so; furthermore the sudden change of air-pressure in tunnels might
cause strokes.
The idea of the planet blowing up was just another form of the old
idea, found in many mythologies, Western and non-Western, of the End of
the World, Ragnarök, Götterdämmerung, Cataclysm. Science also picked up
this idea, and wrapped it up as the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The
technics-worshipers fancied many things about the new explosive.

They did not realize that it was no end of a process, but the beginning.
We stand at the beginning of the Age of Absolute Politics, and one of
its demands is naturally for powerful weapons. Therefore, technics is
ordered to strain after absolute weapons. It will never attain them, however,
and any belief that it will stamps its possessor as simply a materialist, which
is to say, in the 20th century, a provincial.
Technics-worship is completely inappropriate to the soul of Europe.
The formative impulse of human Life does not come from matter now any
more than it ever did. On the contrary, the very way of experiencing matter,
and the way of utilizing it, are expressions of the soul. The naive belief of
technics-worship that an explosive is going to remake the Western
Civilization from its foundations is a last dying gasp of Materialism. This
Civilization made this explosive, and it will make others — they did not
make it, nor will they ever make or unmake the Western Civilization. No
more than matter created the Western Culture can it ever destroy it.
It is still materialism to confuse a civilization with factories, homes,
and the collectivity of installations. Civilization is a higher reality,
manifesting itself through human populations, and within these, through a
certain spiritual stratum, which embodies at highest potential the living Idea
of the Culture. This Culture creates religions, forms of architecture, arts,
States, Nations, Races, Peoples, armies, wars, poems, philosophies, sciences,
weapons and inner imperatives. All of them are mere expressions of the
higher Reality, and none of them can destroy it.
The attitude of the 20th century toward science and technics is clear.
It does not ask them to furnish a world-outlook — this it derives elsewhere
— and it positively rejects any attempt to

make a religion or a philosophy out of materialism or atom-worship. It does

however have use for them, in the service of its unlimited will-to-power.
The Idea is primary, and in actualizing it, superiority in weapons is essential
in order to compensate for the immense numerical superiority of the enemies
of the West.

The Imperative of Our Age

By surveying the entire previous happening of the world, Western

man understands himself in his 20th century phase. He sees where he
stands, he sees also why it was that he was impelled to orient himself
historically. His inner instinct forbade that he distort History in the
materialistic fashion by subjecting it to an ideology of some kind. He sees
the ages of previous Cultures to which his present phase is related: the
“Period of the Contending States” in the Chinese, the transition to Caesarism
in the Roman, the “Hyksos” era in the Egyptian. None of them are ages of
the flowering of art or philosophy, all have their center of gravity in politics
and action. They are the periods of large-space thinking, of the greatest
deeds, of external creativeness of the highest possible magnitude.
Philosophers and ideologists, world-improvers and art-traders, slip down to
the street-level in these ages, when the imperative is directed to action and
not to abstract thought.
Because of his historical position, in a Civilization at the beginning of
its second phase, his soul has a certain organic predisposition, and the
custodians of the Idea of this time will of

necessity think and feel thus, and not otherwise. It can be definitively stated
what this relationship is to the various forms of human and Cultural thought
and action.
To religion, this age is once more affirmative, the very opposite of the
negative atheism of Materialism. Every man of action is in constant contact
with the unforeseeable, the Imponderable, the mystery of Life, and this
precludes the laboratory attitude on his part. An age of action lives side by
side with Death, and values Life by its attitude toward Death. The old
Gothic religious idea is still with us — it is at his last moment that a man
shows what is in him in its purity. Though he may have lived a wastrel, he
may die a hero, and it is this last act of his life that creates the image of him
that will survive in the minds of his descendants. We cannot possibly value
a life according to its length, as Materialism did, or believe in any doctrine
of immortality of the body.
Between his earthly task and his relationship to God, there is no
conflict for Western man. At the beginning of a battle, it is the custom of
soldiers to pray. The battle is the foreground, that toward which the prayer
is directed is the transcendent, is God. Our metaphysical imperative has to
be fulfilled within a certain Life-framework. We have been born into a
certain Culture, at a certain phase of its organic development, we have
certain gifts. These condition the earthly task which we must perform. The
metaphysical task is beyond any conditioning, for it would have been the
same in any age anywhere. The earthly task is merely the form of the higher
task, its organic vehicle.
To philosophy, the Spirit of the Age has its own attitude, different
from all previous centuries. Its great organizing principle is the
morphological significance of systems and events. It rests upon no critical
method, for all these critical methods merely reflected the prevalent spirit,
and its spirit has outgrown

criticism. The center of its thought-life is in History. By History we orient

ourselves, we see the significance of the previous centuries of our own
Culture, we understand beyond any system or ideology the nature of what
we have to do, we see the significance of our own inmost feelings and
For systems of world-improvement, products of a type of thinking
which has become old-fashioned, this age has no use. It is interested solely
in what must be done, and what can be done, and not at all in what ought to
be done. The world of action has its own organic rhythms, and ideologies
belong to the world of thought. Living ideas interest us, stillborn ideals do
To art, the Age can have only one attitude. At best, our artistic tasks
are secondary, at worst, art has degenerated to frightfulness and chaos. Mass
clangor is not music, pictorial nightmares are not even draughtsmanship, let
alone the art of painting. Obscenity and ugliness are not literature,
materialistic propaganda is not drama, disconnected words thrown
formlessly on to paper are not lyric poetry. Whatever art-tasks the age has to
fulfill will be carried out by individuals acting quietly within old Western
traditions, not noising themselves about with journalistic art-theories.
In an age of action and organization, legal thought reaches a new
development. Western law will not stand outside the age of politics, with its
accompanying thought-forms of history and psychology. It will be entirely
renewed with these ideas, and its old materialism, in public law, commercial,
and in particular, in criminal law, will be thrown into the discard.
Technics, and its handmaid, science, are of high importance to the
Western Civilization in its present phase. Technics must provide Western
politics with a strong fist for the coming struggles.

Into the social structure of the Western Civilization there will be

infused the principle of authority, supplanting the principle of wealth. This
view is not at all hostile to private property or private management — that
belongs to the negative feeling of hatred and jealousy which inform class
war. The 20th century Idea liquidates class war, as it does the idea of
economics being the determining force in our life.
Economics occupies the position in the new edifice of the foundation
and its spiritual importance is indicated thereby. The foundation is not the
important thing in a structure, but strictly secondary. But in an age of action,
economic strength is indispensable to political units. Economics can be a
source of political strength, can serve sometimes as a weapon in the power-
struggle. For these reasons, the 20th century will not neglect the
development of the economic side of life, but will provide it with a new
impetus from the now dominant idea of politics. Instead of economics being
the sphere wherein individuals battled one another for private spoils, it
becomes now a strong and important side of the political organism which is
the custodian of the Destiny of all.
The view of the 20th century toward the various directions of thought
and action is not arbitrary, any more than that of previous ages was. Most of
the best minds of the 19th century were nihilistic in tendency, sensualistic,
rationalistic, materialistic — because the age was one of crisis in the
Culture-Life, and these ideas were the Spirit of the Age. Similarly, the idea
of political nationalism was self-evident to that age, but that too was a
product of the great crisis, thus a form of disease as destructive as it was
Every juncture of organic happening presents a choice and an
alternative. The choice is to do the necessary, the alternative is chaos. This
has nothing to do with school-book logic; that logic

is just one of the numberless products of Life, and Life will always invent as
many logics as it has need for, but Life will always obey one logic, organic
logic. This is not describable by any system, but can be comprehended by
Destiny-thinking, the only form of thought serviceable to action. Life goes
forward, or it goes nowhere. Opposition to the Spirit of the Age is the will-
In the realm of theory, this age has as many alternatives as it has
ideologists to dream them up. In the realm of fact, it has only one choice —
and that is delineated for it by the Life-phase of the Civilization, and the
outer circumstances in which we find ourselves at the moment.
We know that the transition of one age into the next is gradual, and
we know that even as it has fulfilled itself in some directions, it thinks it is
just beginning in others. Thus while science as a mental discipline has
achieved its goal, science as a popular outlook for fools and uncreative
persons continues to exist. Materialism no longer claims any of the best
minds, but the best minds are not in control at this moment. The West is
dominated by the outer world, in the control of barbarians and distorters, and
they find the least valuable minds of Europe most serviceable to them.
Materialism serves the great cause of destroying Europe, and that is why it is
forced on the populations of Europe by the extra-European forces.
There are two ways in which we are sensible of our great task, our
ethical imperative which claims our lives. First from our inward feeling,
which impels us to look at things this way and no other. Secondly from our
knowledge of the history of seven previous High Cultures, each of which
went through this same crisis, and each of which liquidated the long
Civilization-crisis in precisely the way that our instincts tell us ours is to be


Our momentary situation takes the form of a great battle — a battle

which may take more than one war to resolve it, or which may be resolved
by a sudden cataclysmic happening, entirely unforeseeable to us now. On
the surface of history it is the unforeseen that happens. The most human
beings can do is to be prepared inwardly. In complete contradiction to our
instinct, feelings, and ideas, the 19th century sits leering upon the throne of
Europe, wrapped in the cerements of the grave, and propped up by the extra-
European forces. This means that the age in which we find ourselves takes
the form of a deep and fundamental conflict. These ideas can never live
again — their supremacy merely means the strangulation of the young,
living tendencies of the New Europe. Their supremacy simply consists in
forced lip-service to them. They do not affect the action-thinking, the
organic-rhythms of the age, they are merely instruments of thwarting the
will of Europe by holding it in subjection to the least valuable elements in
Europe, who are maintained in power by extra-European bayonets.
The conflict is far-reaching; it affects every sphere of Life. Two ideas
are opposed — not concepts or abstractions, but Ideas which were in the
blood of men before they were formulated by the minds of men. The
Resurgence of Authority stands opposed to the Rule of Money; Order to
Social Chaos, Hierarchy to Equality, socio-economico-political Stability to
constant Flux; glad assumption of Duties to whining for Rights; Socialism to
Capitalism, ethically, economically, politically; the Rebirth of Religion to
Materialism; Fertility to Sterility; the spirit of Heroism to the spirit of Trade;
the principle of Responsibility to Parliamentarism; the idea of Polarity of
Man and Woman to

Feminism; the idea of the individual task to the ideal of “happiness”;

Discipline to Propaganda-compulsion; the higher unities of family, society,
State to social atomism; Marriage to the Communistic ideal of free love;
economic self-sufficiency to senseless trade as an end in itself; the inner
imperative to Rationalism.
But the greatest opposition of all has not yet been named, the conflict
which will take up all the others into itself. This is the battle of the Idea of
the Unity of the West against the nationalism of the 19th century. Here
stand opposed the ideas of Empire and petty-stateism, large-space thinking
and political provincialism. Here find themselves opposed the miserable
collection of yesterday-patriots and the custodians of the Future. The
yesterday-nationalists are nothing but the puppets of the extra-European
forces who conquer Europe by dividing it. To the enemies of Europe, there
must be no rapprochement, no understanding, no union of the old units of
Europe into a new unit, capable of carrying on 20th century politics.
In the previous seven High Cultures, the period of the nationalistic
disease was liquidated by the spread of one feeling over the whole
Civilization. It was not unaccompanied by wars, for the Past has always,
and will always, fight against the Future. Life is war, and to wish to create is
to bring about the opposition of the great Nay-sayers, those whose existence
is tied to the Past, is sunk into the Past. The division of the Civilization was
in each case resolved by the reunion of the Civilization, the reassertion of its
old, original, exclusiveness and unity. In each case, from petty-stateism
came Empire. The Empire Idea was so strong that no inner force could
oppose it with hope of success.
Nationalism itself in Europe transformed itself into the new Empire-
Idea after the First World War, the beginning of our

age. In each Western country, the “Nationalists” were those who were
opposed to another European War, and who desired a general political
understanding in Europe to prevent its sinking into the dust where it now
struggles. They were thus not nationalistic at all, but Western-Imperial.
Similarly the self-styled “internationalists” were the ones who wished to stir
up wars among the European states of yesterday, in order to sabotage the
creation of the Empire of the West. They hated it because they were alien to
it in one way or another, some because they were completely outside the
Western Culture, others because they were incurably possessed by some
ideology or other which hated the new, vital, masculine, form of the Future,
and preferred the old conception of Life as money-chasing, money-spending,
hatred of strong, ascendant Life, and love of weakness, sterility, and
And thus, the extra-European forces, together with the traitorous inner
elements in Europe, were able to bring about a Second World War which
defeated on the surface the powerful development of Western Empire. But
the defeat was, and had to be, only on the surface, since the decisive
impulse, as this century knows once more, comes always from within, from
the Inner Imperative, from the Soul. To defeat on the surface the
actualization of an Idea that is Historically essential is to strengthen it. Its
energy, that would have been diffusing itself outward in self-expression
turns inward and is concentrated onto the primary task of spiritual liberation.
The materialists do not know that what does not destroy, makes stronger,
and destroy this Idea they cannot. It uses men, but they cannot use it, touch
it, injure it.
This whole work is nothing but an outline of the Idea of this Age, a
presentation of its foundations and universality, and every spiritual root of it
will be traced to its origins and necessity.

But in this place, it should be mentioned that the idea of a universal Europe,
an Empire of the West, is not new, but is the prime form of our Culture, as
of every other. For the first five centuries of our Culture, there was a
universal Western people, in which the local differences counted but
slightly. There was a universal king-emperor, who might have been often
defied, but was not denied. There was a universal style, Gothic, which
inspired and formed all art from furniture to the cathedral. There was a
universal code of conduct, Western chivalry, with its honor-imperative for
every situation. There was a universal religion and a universal Church.
There was a universal language, Latin, and a universal law, Roman law.
The disintegration of this unity was slowly progressive from 1250
onward, but was not entirely accomplished, even for political purposes, until
the age of political nationalism, beginning c. 1750, when Westerners for the
first time allowed themselves to use the barbarian against other Western
And now, as we enter upon the late Civilization-phase, the idea of a
universal Europe, an Empire of the West in the 20th century style emerges
once more as the single, great, formative Idea of the age. The form in which
the task presents itself is political. It is a power question whether this
Empire will be established, for strong extra-European forces oppose it, and
these forces have divided the soil of our Culture between them.


The Empire of the West is a development that no inner European

force could possibly oppose with more than token resistance, but its
establishment is now crossed by the decisive intervention of outer forces in
the life of the West. The struggle is thus spiritual-political, and its motive
force derives from

the Idea of Western unity. At this moment, the existence of the West in
freedom for self-development is a function of the distribution of power in
the world.
The age is political in a sense that no previous Western age has been
so. This is the Age of Absolute Politics, for the whole form of our life is
now a function of power.
Action, to be effective, must be within a spiritual framework. As
Goethe said, “Unlimited activity, of whatever kind, leads at last to
bankruptcy.” Our action must not be blind. Our ideational equipment must
be of a kind which can turn everything to its own account. It frees itself
therefore from every kind of ideology, economic, biological, moralistic. It
springs directly from the fact-sense which this age takes as its point of
In the universities and in most of the books, outmoded methods of
looking at the field of politics are presented. The doctrine is still taught that
there are various “forms of government” which can be moved about from
one political unit to another. There is republicanism, there is democracy,
monarchy, and so on, and so on. Some of these “forms” are held out as
“good”; others as “bad.” It is better to have Europe occupied by the
barbarian than to have a Western Empire under a “bad” “form of
government.” It is better to eat the rations that Moscow and Washington
allow than it is to have a proud and free Europe with a “bad” government.
This is the very height of stupidity. Asininity on this level can only be
reached by ideologists without soul and without intellect.
This sort of thing is book-politics, and is traceable to the fact that the
word politics has two meanings: it means human power-activity, and it also
has the dictionary meaning of a branch of philosophy. Now, if by politics,
one means a branch

of philosophy, very well. It can then turn into whatever one wishes. Carte
blanche reigns in the world of philosophy. But — the real meaning of the
word politics is power-activity, and in this sense, acting Life is itself politics.
In this sense, facts rule politics, and the making of facts is the task of
politics. This is the only possible meaning of the word to the 20th century,
and this most serious moment of our Cultural life demands the utmost clarity
of the minds of active men in order that they may be entirely free from any
trace of ideology, whether derived from logic, philosophy, or morality.
And thus we stand before the view of politics which answers the inner
demand of the Age of Absolute Politics.

The 20th Century Political Outlook

“Men are tired to disgust of money-economy. They hope for salvation from
somewhere or other, for some real thing of honor and chivalry, of inward
nobility, of unselfishness and duty.”
— Spengler

“The time for petty politics is past; the next century will bring the struggle
for the dominion of the world — the compulsion to great politics.”

— Nietzsche, 1885


The distribution of powers in the first two World Wars was grotesque
— the way it was occasioned is examined elsewhere. The results of these
two wars were consequently grotesque. In both of them the outlook of the
nineteenth century was apparently victorious. Superficially it was indeed,
but actually such a thing is impossible. Owing to the organic nature of a
Culture, as well as of the nations it creates, the Past cannot triumph over the
Future — the alternatives are always only two in organic life: either forward
development, or sickness and extinction.
The Western Civilization was not extinguished by these fearful
conflicts, even though its existence was brought to the lowest possible point
The First of the series of World Wars created a new world. The old
ideas of history, politics, war, nations, economics, society, culture, art,
education, ethics, were swept away. The new ideas of these things however
were possessed only by the best brains of Europe, the small Culture-bearing

Unfortunately the political leaders in Europe immediately after the First

World War — save one — did not belong to this stratum.
The Second in the series arose from the fact that all Europe had not
yet come under the impress of the new idea, the 20th century world-outlook.
Half of Europe continued to play the old-fashioned, fatal game of petty-
stateism. The leaders responsible for this represent what Goethe had in mind
when he said: “The most terrible thing in the world is ignorance in action.”
Europe has not yet paid the full price for the malice and stupidity of these
leaders. Nietzsche had wished to see such an increase in the threatening
attitude of Russia that Europe would be forced to unite, to abandon the
miserable game of political nationalism, petty-stateism. Not only did this
happen politically, it happened culturally — Russia seceded totally from
Europe and returned to Asia, whence Peter the Great had dragged it. But
Europe continued to luxuriate in the repulsive game of frontiers and
customs, little plans, little projects, little secrets — even after it had looked
on at the spectacle of the Bolshevik revolution. Nietzsche had assumed in
his thought that brains would be present at the helm — in Europe he forgot
to wish that.
Readers in the year 2000 will find it hard to believe that in 1947 a
French aspirant for power based himself on a program for making France
secure from Germany, or that in 1947 England and France signed at
Dünkirchen a treaty of alliance against Germany . Both America and Russia
allowed these two political powers of yesterday to sign this harmless treaty
— it could not in any way conflict with the plans of the extra-Europeans in
Moscow and Washington, for it looked not to the future, or even to the
present, but solely to the Past. Is it possible that the people who prepared
and signed this treaty were under a collective hallucination that the year was
1750, 1850,

or in any other century? When politicians become subjects of confusion,

their countries must suffer.
Such things could not happen — Europe could not have reached such
a low — if the new outlook on politics, the organically necessary outlook,
had been clearly present in the ruling stratum in every European land. This
new outlook — which becomes automatically the view of anyone who
understands it — is now formulated here for the first time in its entirety.
The word politics itself has been subject in recent history — say, since
1850 — to a deep misunderstanding. Two things are responsible: first the
economic obsession of the nations of our Civilization during the 19th
century, second the culture-distorting influence of America on certain
European areas. The economic obsession gradually developed into the view
that politics was something outmoded, that it only reflected preceding
economic realities, that ultimately it would pass away. Thus war came to be
regarded as an anachronism.
In America, because of the special conditions which prevailed there,
unique in Western history, the word politics came to mean adherence to a
group or an idea from a chicane motive. American politicians continually
accused one another of engaging in “politics.” This meant that politics was
regarded as something unnecessary, something dishonest, something that
could and should be done away with. This was in very truth their
understanding of the word.
This deep misunderstanding of the nature of politics in Europe grew
because of the extraordinarily long period of peace among the European
nations between 1871 and 1914. This seemed to prove that war and politics
were gone. The idea was so deeply fixed that 1914 only seemed to be the
exception that proved the rule. There was also a mental necessity on the part
of weak heads in Europe and America to regard the 1914

war as the last war. Nor did 1939 change this. Again there was a last war.
People with this viewpoint are not embarrassed by the necessity of regarding
every war as the last war. To an ideologist, his theory is normative — it is
the facts which go askew.
The time has come when persistence in this sort of mental
legerdemain must cease. Politics is not a subject for logical exercises, but a
field for action in the Spirit of the Age.

The Nature of Politics

First, what is politics? That is, politics as a fact. Politics is activity in

relation to power.
Politics is a domain of its own — the domain of power. Thus it is not
morality, it is not esthetics, it is not economics. Politics is a way of thinking,
just as these others are. Each of these forms of thought isolates part of the
totality of the world and claims it for its own. Morality distinguishes
between good and evil; esthetics between beautiful and ugly; economics
between utile and inutile (in its later, purely trading phase these are identical
with profitable and unprofitable). The way politics divides the world is into
friend and enemy. These express for it the highest possible degree of
connection, and the highest possible degree of separation.
Political thought is as separate from these other forms of thought as
they are from each other. It can exist without them, they without it. The
enemy can be good, he can be beautiful, he may be economically utile,
business with him may be

profitable — but if his power activity converges on mine, he is my enemy.

He is that one with whom existential conflicts are possible. But esthetics,
economics, morality are not concerned with existence, but only with norms
of activity and thinking within an assured existence.
While as a matter of psychological fact, the enemy is easily
represented as ugly, injurious, and evil, nevertheless this is subsidiary to
politics, and does not destroy the independence of political thinking and
activity. The political disjunction, concerned as it is with existence, is the
deepest of all disjunctions and thus, has a tendency to seek every type of
persuasion, compulsion, and justification in order to carry its activity
forward. The extent to which this occurs is in direct ratio to the purity of
political thinking in the leaders. The more their outlooks contain of moral,
economic or other ways of thinking, the more they will use propaganda
along such lines to further their political aims. It may even happen that they
are not conscious that their activity is political. There is every indication
that Cromwell regarded himself as a religionist and not as a politician. A
variation was provided by the French journal which fanned the war spirit of
its readers in 1870 with the expectation that the poilus would bring car-loads
of blonde women back from Prussia .
On the other side, Japanese propaganda for the home populace during
the Second World War, accented almost entirely the existential, i.e., purely
political nature of the struggle. Another may be ugly, evil and injurious and
yet not be an enemy; or he may be good, beautiful, and useful, and yet be an
Friend and enemy are concrete realities. They are not figurative.
They are unmixed with moral, esthetic or economic elements. They do not
describe a private relationship of antipathy. Antipathy is no necessary part
of the political disjunction of

friend and enemy. Hatred is a private phenomenon. If politicians inoculate

their populations with hatred against the enemy, it is only to give them a
personal interest in the public struggle which they would otherwise not have.
Between superpersonal organisms there is no hatred, although there may be
existential struggles. The disjunction love-hatred is not political and does
not intersect at any point the political one of friend-enemy. Alliance does
not mean love, any more than war means hate. Clear thinking in the realm
of politics demands at the outset a strong power of dissociation of ideas.
The world-outlook of Liberalism, here as always completely
emancipated from reality, said that the concept enemy described either an
economic competitor, or else an ideational opponent. But in economics
there are no enemies, but only competitors; in a world which was purely
moralized (i.e., one in which only moral contrasts existed) there could be no
enemies, but only ideational opponents. Liberalism, strengthened by the
unique long peace, 1871–1914, pronounced politics to be atavistic, the
grouping of friend-enemy to be retrograde. This of course belongs to
politics as a branch of philosophy. In that realm no misstatement is possible;
no accumulation of facts can prove a theory wrong, for over these theories
are supreme, History is not the arbiter in matters of political outlook, Reason
decides all, and everyone decides for himself what is reasonable. This is
concerned however only with facts, and the only objection made here to
such an outlook in the last analysis is that it is not factual.
Enemy, then, does not mean competitor. Nor does it mean opponent
in general. Least of all does it describe a person whom one hates from
feelings of personal antipathy. Latin possessed two words: hostis for the
public enemy, inimicus for a private enemy. Our Western languages
unfortunately do not

make this important distinction. Greek however did possess it, and had
further a deep distinction between two types of wars: those against other
Greeks, and those against outsiders of the Culture, barbarians. The former
were “agons” and only the latter were true wars. An agon was originally a
contest for a prize at the public games, and the opponent was the
“antagonist.” This distinction has value for us because in comparison with
wars in this age, intra-European wars of the preceding 800 years were
agonal. As nationalistic politics assumed the ascendancy within the
Classical Culture, with the Peloponnesian Wars, the distinction passed out of
Greek usage. 17th and 18th century wars in West-Europe were in the nature
of contests for a prize — the prize being a strip of territory, a throne, a title.
The participants were dynasties, not peoples. The idea of destroying the
opposing dynasty was not present, and only in the exceptional case was there
even the possibility of such a thing happening. Enemy in the political sense
means thus public enemy. It is unlimited, and it is thus distinguished from
private enmity. The distinction public-private can only arise when there is a
super-personal unit present. When there is, it determines who is friend and
enemy, and thus no private person can make such a determination. He may
hate those who oppose him or who are distasteful to him, or who compete
with him, but he may not treat them as enemies in the unlimited sense.
The lack of two words to distinguish public and private enemy also
has contributed to confusion in the interpretation of the well-known Biblical
passage (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27) “Love your enemies.” The Greek and
Latin versions use the words referring to a private enemy. And this is
indeed to what the passage refers. It is obviously an adjuration to put aside
hatred and malice, but there is no necessity whatever

that one hate the public enemy. Hatred is not contained in political thinking.
Any hatred worked up against the public enemy is non-political, and always
shows some weakness in the internal political situation. This Biblical
passage does not adjure one to love the public enemy, and during the wars
against Saracen and Turk no Pope, saint, or philosopher so construed it. It
certainly does not counsel treason out of love for the public enemy.


Every non-political human grouping of whatever kind, legal, social,

religious, economic or other becomes at last political if it creates an
opposition deep enough to range men against one another as enemies. The
State as a political unit excludes by its nature opposition of such types as
these. If however a disjunction occurs in the population of a State which is
so deep and strong that it divides them into friends and enemies, it shows
that the State, at least temporarily, does not exist in fact. It is no longer a
political unit, since all political decisions are no longer concentrated in it.
All States whatever keep a monopoly of political decision. This is another
way of saying they maintain inner peace. If some group or idea becomes so
strong that it can effect a friend-enemy grouping, it is a political unit; and if
forces are generated which the State cannot manage peaceably, it has
disappeared for the time at least. If the State has to resort to force, this in
itself shows that there are two political units, in other words, two States
instead of the one originally there.
This raises the question of the significance of internal politics. Within
a State, we speak of social-politics, judicial-politics, religious-politics, party-
politics and the like. Obviously they

represent another meaning of the word, since they do not contain the
possibility of a friend-enemy disjunction. They occur within a pacified unit.
They can only be called “secondary.” The essence of the State is that within
its realm it excludes the possibility of a friend-enemy grouping. Thus
conflicts occurring within a State are by their nature limited, whereas the
truly political conflict is unlimited. Every one of these internal limited
struggles of course may become the focus of a true political disjunction, if
the idea opposing the State is strong enough, and the leaders of the State
have lost their sureness. If it does — again, the State is gone. An organism
either follows its own law, or it becomes ill. This is organic logic and
governs all organisms, plant, animal, man, High Culture. They are either
themselves, or they sicken and die. Not for them is the rational and logical
view which says that whatever can be cogently written down into a system
can then be foisted on to an organism. Rational thinking is merely one of
the multifarious creations of organic life, and it cannot, being subsidiary,
include the whole within its contemplation. It is limited and can only work
in a certain way, and on material which is adapted to such treatment. The
organism is the whole, however, and does not yield its secrets to a method
which it develops out of its own adaptive ability to cope with non-organic
problems it has to overcome.
Secondary politics often can distort primary politics. For instance the
female politics of petty jealousy and personal hatred that was effective in the
court of Louis XV was instrumental in devoting much of French political
energy to the less important struggle against Frederick, and little French
political energy to the more important struggle against England in Canada
and India and on the seas. Frederick the Great was not beloved by the
Pompadour, and France paid an empire to chastise

him. When private hostility exerts such an effect on public decision, it is

proper to speak of political distortion, and of such a policy as a distorted
one. When an organism consults or is in the grip of any force outside of its
own developmental law, its life is distorted. The relation between a private
enmity and a public politics it is circumstanced to distort is the same as that
between European petty-Stateism and the Western Civilization. The
collectively suicidal game of nationalistic politics distorted the whole
destiny of the West after 1900 to the advantage of the extra-European forces.


The concrete nature of politics is shown by certain linguistic facts

which appear in all Western languages. Invariably the concepts, ideas, and
vocabulary of a political group are polemical, propagandistic. This is true
throughout all higher history. The words State, class, King, society — all
have their polemical content, and they have an entirely different meaning to
partisans from what they have to opponents. Dictatorship, government of
laws, proletariat, bourgeoisie these words have no meaning other than their
polemical one, and one does not know what they are intended to convey
unless one knows also who is using them and against whom. During the
Second World War, for instance, freedom and democracy were used as
terms to describe all members of the coalition against Europe, with an entire
disregard of semantics. The word “dictatorship” was used by the extra-
European coalition to describe not only Europe, but any country which
refused to join the coalition.
Similarly, the word “fascist” was used purely as a term of abuse,
without any descriptive basis whatever, just as the word democracy was a
word of praise but not of description. In the

American press, for example, both during the 1914 war and the 1939 war,
Russia was always described as a “democracy.” The House of Romanov
and the Bolshevik regime were equally democratic. This was necessary to
preserve the homogeneous picture of these wars which this press had painted
for its readers: the war was one of democracy against dictatorship; Europe
was dictatorship, ergo, anything fighting Europe was democracy. In the
same way, Machiavelli described any State that was not a monarchy as a
republic, a polemical definition that has remained to this day. To Jack Cade
the word nobility was a term of damnation, to those who put down his
rebellion, it was everything good. In a legal treatise, the class-warrior Karl
Renner described rent paid by tenant to landlord as “tribute.” In the same
way, Ortega y Gasset calls the resurgence of State authority, of the ideas of
order, hierarchy and discipline, a revolt of the masses. And to a real class
warrior, any navvy is socially valuable, but an officer is a “parasite.”
During the period when Liberalism ruled in the Western Civilization,
and the State was reduced, theoretically, to the role of “night-watchman,”
the very word “politics” changed its fundamental meaning. From having
described the power activities of the State, it now described the efforts of
private individuals and their organizations to secure positions in the
government as a means of livelihood, in other words politics came to mean
party-politics. Readers in 2050 will have difficulty in understanding these
relationships, for the age of parties will be as forgotten then as the Opium
War is now.
All State organisms were distorted, sick, in crisis, and this
introspection was one great symptom of it. Supposedly internal politics was
If internal politics was actually primary, it must have meant that
friend-enemy groupings could arise on an internal political

question. If this did happen, in the extreme case civil war was the result, but
unless a civil war occurred, internal politics was still in fact secondary,
limited, private, and not public. The very contention that inner politics was
primary was polemical: what was meant was that it should be. The Liberals
and class-warriors, then as now, spoke of their wishes and hope as facts,
near-facts, or potential facts. The sole result of focusing energy onto inner
problems was to weaken the State, in its dealings with other States. The law
of every organism allows only two alternatives: either the organism must be
true to itself, or it goes down into sickness or death. The nature, the essence
of the State is inner peace and outer struggle. If the inner peace is disturbed
or broken, the outer struggle is damaged.
The organic and the inorganic ways of thinking do not intersect:
ordinary class-room logic, the logic of philosophy textbooks tells us that
there is no reason why State, politics and war need even exist. There is no
logical reason why humanity could not be organized as a society, or as a
purely economic enterprise, or as a vast book-club. But the higher
organisms of States, and the highest organisms, the High Cultures, do not
ask logicians for permission to exist — the very existence of this type of
rationalist, the man emancipated from reality, is only a symptom of a crisis
in the High Culture, and when the crisis passes, the rationalists pass away
with it. The fact that the rationalists are not in touch with the invisible,
organic forces of History is shown by their predictions of events. Before
1914, they universally asserted that a general European war was impossible.
Two different types of rationalists gave their two different reasons. The
class-warriors of the Internationale, said that international class-war
socialism would make it impossible to mobilize “the workers” of one
country against “the workers” in another country. The other type — also
with its center of

gravity in economics, since rationalism and materialism are indissolubly

wedded — said no general war was possible because mobilization would
bring about such a dislocation of the economic life of the countries that a
breakdown would come in a few weeks.

The War-Politics Symbiosis

We come to the relation of war to politics. It is not proposed to treat

of the metaphysics of war, but to develop a practical outlook of the
possibilities and necessities of war to serve as a basis for action.
First, a definition: war is an armed struggle between organized
political units. It is not a question of the method of fighting, for weapons are
merely a way of killing. Nor of military organization — these things
determine nothing about the inner nature of war. War is the highest possible
expression of the friend-enemy disjunction. It confers the practical meaning
on the word enemy. The enemy is he upon whom one is preparing to make
or upon whom one is making war. If there is no question of war he is not an
enemy. He may be a mere opponent in a contest for a prize, he may be a
mere heathen, a mere ideological opponent, a competitor, a hateful thing for
reasons of antipathy. The minute he becomes an enemy, the possibility or
actuality of armed struggle war, enters. War is not an agon, and thus the
armed struggles among the States of the Western

Culture up to the middle of the 18th century were not wars in the 20th
century meaning of the word. They were limited in their object and scope,
and vis-à-vis the opponent they were not existential. Thus they were not
political in the 20th century meaning of the word — they were not fought
against enemies in our sense of the term. Unfortunately our Western
languages lack the precision which Greek had in this respect to distinguish
between intra-Hellenic struggles, agons, with the opponent the “antagonist,”
on the one hand, and wars against the non-Culture member, on the other
hand, in which the opponent, e.g., the Persian, was the enemy. The
Crusades were thus war in the full unlimited sense of the word: the deep
spiritual objective was the assertion of the Cultural superiority, and of the
true Faith against the heathen. The opponent — though one naturally
extended personal magnanimity to his soldiers because of the inner
imperative of chivalrous honor — was an enemy, not to be allowed to
continue in his unity if it could be destroyed.
Honor in the Crusades forbade personal meanness, but did not exclude
total destruction of the enemy organized unit. Honor in intra-European
struggles did forbid imposing too harsh a treaty upon the defeated opponent,
and it entered no one’s mind to deny the opponent the right to existence as
an organized unit.
During the history of our Culture, from Pope Gregory VII to
Napoleon, the struggle against a member of the Culture was limited, but that
against the heathen, the non-member of the Culture was true, unlimited war.
Wars before, after and outside a Culture are unlimited. They are a
more pure expression of the barbarian in man, in that they are not highly
symbolic. They are spiritual, for everything human is spiritual. The spirit is
primary with man, the material

is the vehicle of the spiritual development. Man sees symbolic significance

in that around him — his experiencing of these symbols and his acting and
organizing in accordance are what make him man, even though he carry
within him also the animal instincts. His soul of course, with its
transforming symbolism, completely changes the expression of these
instincts. They pass into the service of the soul and its symbolism. Man
does not kill, like a tiger, for food to eat — he kills because of spiritual
necessity. Not even wars entirely outside a High Culture are purely animal,
entirely devoid of symbolic content. With man that would be impossible —
only something spiritual can bring masses on to a battlefield. But the
symbolism of a High Culture is a grand symbolism — it links past, present
and future and the totality of things, dissolving them all into a magnificent
performance of which it is later realized that that, too, was a symbol. It is
only in comparison with these grand meanings, this grand super-personal
destiny, that extra-Cultural human phenomena seem merely zoological.
Thus, because of their lower symbolic content, lower spiritual potential,
these wars can never approach the intensity, scale, or duration of wars
connected with High Culture. Defeat is acknowledged much more easily,
for it is only the souls of those engaged that are affected. In Cultural wars
however, the soul of the Culture is at work, lending its invisible, but
invincible strength to those in its service, and a struggle can be maintained
for years against fearful odds. A few defeats, and all would have been up
with Genghis Khan. Not so with Friedrich der Grosse, or George
Washington, for they felt themselves to be the vehicle of an Idea, of the
There can not be said to exist an enmity unless the possibility of war
is present. A possibility in fact, not a mere conceivability. Nor need the
possibility be daily and imminent. Nor need the

door be closed on negotiations before the possibility of war, and therefore

true enmity can be said to exist.
Not even among warlike States is life a daily blood-shed. War is the
highest possible intensification of politics, but there must also be something
less intense, the period of recuperating, negotiating, steering, preparing.
Without the fact of peace, we would not have the word war, and — what the
pacifists have never thought of — without war, we could not have peace, in
the blissful, dreamy, saccharine, way they use the word. All the fierce
energy that war devotes to super-personal struggles would go into domestic
discord of one sort or another, and the casualty list would hardly be less.
The relation of war to politics is clear. Clausewitz, in the usually
misquoted passage, called war “the continuation of political intercourse by
other means.” Usually misquoted, because it does not mean that the military
fighting is the continuation of politics, for this it is not. Fighting has its own
strategic and tactical grammar. It has its own organic rules and imperatives.
War does not have however a motivation of its own — this is supplied by
politics. As is the intensity of the political struggle, i.e., of the enmity, so is
the war.
It was insight into this interrelationship that prompted an English
diplomat to say that a politician was better trained for fighting than the
soldier, for he fights continually and the soldier only occasionally. It is also
observable that professional soldiers would turn a war into an agon before
political soldiers would. The phrase political soldier is only ad hoc, to
designate anyone fighting from conviction, rather than from profession.
Clausewitz expressed in the same chapter a description of this
relationship between politics and war that has validity in this century: “As
war belongs to politics, so does it take on its character. When politics
becomes grand and powerful, so does

the war, which can ascend to the height where it attains to its absolute form.”
War presupposes politics, just as politics presupposes war. Politics
determines the enemy, and the time of opening the war. These are not
problems for the soldier. Armies must be prepared to fight any political unit.
War and politics cannot be defined in terms of mutual aim, or
purpose. It makes no organic sense to say that war is the aim of politics, or
politics of war. It could not be, in either case. Each is the prerequisite of the
other, neither could exist without the other. A given policy could aim at a
certain war, naturally, but no politics could possibly aim at war in general.
It is the eventuality of war which gives to political thinking its hall-
mark that makes it a different form of thinking from, say, economic
thinking, moral, scientific, or esthetic thinking.


The disjunction of friend-enemy being the essence of political

thinking and acting, is this to say that there is nothing between? No, for
neutrality exists as a fact. It has its own rules and conditions of existence.
The Western Culture developed as a part of its international law — a law
governing neutrality. The very formulation of these rules for neutrals shows
that the decisive thing is the conflict, the friend-enemy disjunction. The
problem for a neutral is how to keep out; it is not the problem of the others
in the usual case how to keep the neutral out. The whole practice of the law
of neutrality was dependent upon who was at war. If the Great Powers were
at war, neutrals had as a matter of practice, few rights. If small powers were
engaged in a war, and the Great Powers were neutral, neutrals had many

But the essential thing is that neutrality as a policy stands in the shade
of the practical possibility of war and active politics. For a country to
become neutral as a form of existence would be to cease to exist as a
political unit. It might continue to exist economically, socially, culturally,
but politically it could not exist if it were neutral. To renounce war is to
renounce the right to an enemy. As long as a power is committed to war in
any one given eventuality, it has not adopted total neutrality. Thus,
Belgium’s neutrality during the 19th century was only a word, and not a fact,
for it maintained an army, diplomatic representation abroad, and it entered
into military understandings with France and England against Germany. As
long as a country maintains an army it cannot say its basic national policy is
neutrality. An army is an instrument of politics, even if only a politics of
self-defense. Politics and neutrality exclude one another, as do neutrality
and continued existence. Here again, another instance of the polemical
nature of all political language: Neutrality was turned into a polemical word
by certain small countries of Europe. Actually by their very existence they
were serving the political purposes of one half of Europe against the other
half. This position, of being committed by their very existence to one side
of a struggle, they called “neutrality.” They knew their politics would
involve them in war, they knew on which side they would be, and when the
war did come, they cried aloud that their “neutrality” had been violated.
To renounce politics — which is what total neutrality means — is to
renounce existence as a unit. In many cases it is the part of wisdom and the
dictates of Culture to amalgamate with another power, to renounce an empty
existence as a unit, an existence without a meaning or a future.
In addition to neutrality as a precarious fact, during war, and
neutrality as a polemical fraud, there is neutrality which

arises from the hopelessness of carrying on a war successfully. This is

closer to true neutrality, for what it means is that powers reduced to such a
case have disappeared from the calculations of the other powers, unless of
course the land in question is attractive as spoils or as a battlefield. In this
case, it must choose for itself to which of the powers still in the struggle it
will surrender its independence. If it fails to do this, the choice will be made
for it. A power which by its economic weakness, small size, or age, cannot
possibly carry on a war has in effect renounced war and become neutral.
Whether it is allowed to continue a posthumous existence depends entirely
on how attractive its domains are. For purposes of high politics, it is not a
political, but a neutral factor.
From the development of colossal war technics came the fact that few
powers can support or wage a war. This led the rationalists and Liberals,
ever bright with a new wish-informed thought, to announce that the world
was becoming pacified. No more war or politics — “power-politics” is their
word, just as one could talk of beauty-esthetics, utile-economics, good-
morality, piety-religion, legal-law — the world is become neutral, the
occasions of war are going, political powers can no longer afford wars, and
the like. It is not war or politics which is disappearing, it is only that the
number of contestants has grown less.
A pacified world would be one in which there was no politics. It
would thus be one where no human difference could possibly arise which
could range men against one another as enemies. In a purely economic
world men could be opposed, but only as competitors. If morality was also
there the proponents of different theories could oppose one another, but only
in discussion. Religionists could oppose one another, but only with the
propaganda of their respective faiths. It would have to be a

world in which there was no one who would kill, or better yet, such a
languid, colorless and boring world that no one could possibly take anything
seriously enough to kill or risk his life about it.
The only conclusion to be drawn is that a rationalist, Liberal, or
pacifist who believes that it is possible for war to vanish simply does not
understand what the word war means, its reciprocal existence with politics
or the nature of politics as the ranging of men against one another as
enemies. In other words, and in the kindliest words possible, these people
do not know what they are talking about. They wish to abolish war by
politics, or even by war. If war were gone and politics remained, they would
then abolish politics by war, or perhaps by politics. They confuse verbal
virtuosity with political thinking, logic with soul-necessities, accident with
history. As for superpersonal forces, they do not exist, because they cannot
be seen, weighed and measured.


Since the symbiosis of war and politics forms its own thought-
category, independent of other ways of thinking, it follows that a war could
not be carried on from a purely nonpolitical motive. If a religious
difference, an economic contrast, an ideological disjunction, were to reach
the degree of intensity of feeling at which it would range men against one
another as enemies, it would thereby become political, and such units as
formed would be political units and would be guided by a political way of
maneuvering, thinking, and valuing, and not by a religious, economic or
other way of thinking. Pure economics could not possibly wage a war, for
war does not pay economically. Pure religion could not wage a war, nor
pure ideology,

because war cannot spread religion, cannot convert, but can only result in an
accretion or diminution of power. Motives other than strictly political ones
can indeed actuate a war — but the war takes them up into itself, and they
vanish into it. Western Christianity has motivated wars, such as the
Crusades, but these wars did not let loose the forces upon which Christianity
places a positive value. Economics has motivated wars, but the immediate
result of a war has never been a profit.
For this reason the Liberals and rationalists comfortably convinced
themselves before 1914 that war had vanished because it did not show a
profit. They were moving in their private world of abstraction, where
economics was the sole motive of human conduct, and where invisible
superpersonal forces did not exist. And 1914 did not cause them to change
their theory — no, where the facts and theory conflict, it is the facts which
need revision. 1914 caused them to re-implement their theory: The First
World War was all the more proof of their viewpoint, for it showed that it
was economically necessary that war disappear. These people did not know
that economic necessity of human beings is never taken into account by
superpersonal forces. Could they get no clue from the statement of one of
the most immediate participants in the feverish flurry of negotiations of July,
1914, that all of the statesmen concerned merely drifted into the war? A
strictly factual view shows that superpersonal organisms have no economics
in our sense of the word, for they are purely spiritual. When Culture
populations nourish themselves — and that is what economics is — they are
nourishing the higher organism, for the populations are its cells. Its cells are
to the superpersonal soul as the cells of a human body are to the human soul.
A war from purely religious, economic, or other, motives would be
senseless as well as impossible. From religious contrasts

arise the thought-categories of believer and non-believer, from economics

those of co-worker and competitor, from ideological those of agreer and
disagreer. Only from political contrasts come friend-enemy groupings, and
only from enmity can come war. The enmity can start elsewhere the
personal distaste of the mistress of a ruler has brought about an enmity
grouping among Western States — but when it comes to enmity, it is
politics. Although the enmity may have started on a religious contrast, when
it comes to war, one will fight against believers, or accept the help of non-
believers. Only the Thirty Years War need be mentioned in this connection.
Though economics be the beginning of the enmity, once it rises to the
intensity of enmity, one fights without regard to the economic consequences
of his fighting, but only to the political consequences.
Other thought-categories claim they should have a monopoly of
thinking, that the political should be subject to them. The 20th century
outlook on politics merely observes that they do not as a matter of fact.
From an esthetic standpoint, war and politics may be ugly, from an
economic, wasteful, from the moral, wicked, from the religious, sinful.
These viewpoints, however, are neutral from the political standpoint, which
tries first, to assess the facts, and second to change them, but never tries to
value them according to a non-political scheme of values. Some politicians
do this, it is true. English politicians in particular, after Cromwell, felt an
inner compulsion to present every one of their wars as somehow directly
involving Christianity, even a war which planted the Hammer and Sickle in
the heart of Europe was a war for Christianity. But this does not affect what
I am saying here, as this sort of thing only affects vocabulary, but does not
touch facts, or action. Using a nonpolitical terminology or propaganda
cannot depoliticize politics,

any more than using a pacifist terminology can debellicize war.

Politicians are usually not pure in their thinking any more than other
men. Even a saint commits sins, even a scientist has his private
superstitions, even a divine may have his little taint of mechanism, even a
Liberal may have his minuscule trace of animal instinct which if released
may cause a sanguinary war, after the conclusion of which he may try to
exterminate the human beings comprising the population of the former
Just as a war cannot, as a matter of fact, be purely economic,
religious, or moral, it follows that a war need not qualify under any other
category in order to be justifiable from the political standpoint. The
Scholastic philosophers set forth the ethico-religious prerequisites of a just
war. St. Thomas Aquinas formulated them in a fashion which is final for
ethico-religious thought. From the political standpoint however, the test of
the justification is quite different. It is of course obvious that the word
justification is inadequate, since this word belongs originally to moral
thinking and not to political thinking. It must therefore not be interpreted as
an invasion of the field of morality if the word justification is used in this
connection, for what is meant is appropriateness, desirability,
advantageousness, and indeed these are contained in the secondary meaning
of the word justification. Now, in this practical, political sense, what wars
are justified? Politics is activity in regard to power. Units engaged in
politics may gain or lose power. Instinct and understanding direct them to
seek to increase power. War is the most intense method of trying to increase
power. Thus a war which has no practically foreseeable possibility of
increasing power is not politically justifiable. A war which promises an
increase in power is politically justifiable. This is what the word success
means in this connection, i.e., that increased

power is the result of the war. When diminished power is the result of the
war, the war was unsuccessful.


The words defeat and victory thus divide into two sharply and
precisely defined sets of meanings: the military and the political. Although
the armies in the field may be on the winning side, nevertheless the unit to
which they supposedly belong may emerge from the war with less power
than it entered upon it. I say supposedly belong for the reason that when a
political unit is in the situation where even military victory means political
defeat, it is not in political reality an independent unit. Thus: if there were
only two powers in the world, the one gaining the military victory in a war
would of necessity gain the political victory. There is no second possibility.
But if there were more than two powers engaged in a war, and a military
victory was gained, one or more powers must have gained the political
victory, i.e., must have increased in power. Thus if any power, despite the
fact that it was on the winning side in a military sense, nevertheless emerged
with less power, it was in fact fighting for the political victory of another
power. In other words it was not actually an independent unit, but was in the
service of another unit.
To be specific instead of general: after the First World War, England,
although on the side of the victorious in a military sense, was weaker in the
political sense, i.e., it had less power afterwards than before the War. In the
War of the Spanish Succession, France emerged from the War weaker than it
had entered, despite the fact that it had gained the military victory.
But between these two sets of meanings of the words victory and
defeat, there is an order of rank: the political meaning is

primary, for war itself is subsidiary to politics. Any politician would prefer
a military defeat coupled with political victory to the converse. Despite the
military defeat of France in the Napoleonic Wars, Talleyrand negotiated a
political victory for France out of the Congress of Vienna. To say that a unit
gained a military victory and also suffered a political defeat is only another
way of saying that the military opponent was not a real enemy. A real
enemy is he whom one can strike down and thereby increase one’s own
It is for the politician to determine whom to fight, and if he selects as
the enemy a unit at whose expense no power can possibly be gained even in
a militarily successful war, that politician was incapable. He may be merely
stupid, he may be carrying on a private parasite-politics, using the lives of
his countrymen to implement his personal antipathies, like Graf Brühl in the
Seven Years War, he may be a distorter, representing an outer force not
belonging to the Nation, or even to the Culture.
Such a politician may also be a traitor who sells himself for a private
economic consideration, like the Poles who disappeared upon the outbreak
of war in 1939 and were never heard of again.
But regardless of why a politician chooses for an enemy a unit which
was not a real enemy, the fact remains that in so doing he is abdicating the
sovereignty of his State and placing it therewith in the service of another
The classic example of this in recent history is, of course, England’s
participation in the Second World War. England was on the victorious side
in the military sense, but sustained a total defeat in the political sense.
Already during the war a member of the English Parliament was able to
announce that apparently England was a dependency of America. At the
conclusion of that War, England’s power and prestige had sunk

so low that it had to abandon the Empire. Extra-European forces were the
victors. England had fought in the Second World War and had given lives
and position for the political victory of others. It was not the first time in
history, nor will it be the last, but because of its magnitude, it will always
remain the classic example.
A tiny island of some 242,000 quadrate kilometers, with only
40,000,000 population, nevertheless, England controlled in 1900 17/20 of
the surface of the earth. This includes all the seas, on which England was
supreme in the sense that it could deny them to any other power. In less than
25 years, or after the First World War, 1914-1918, England found this sea
supremacy gone as well as its commercial primacy, and its position of
arbiter of Europe in the sense that it could prevent any power taking first
place. In less than 50 years, or after the Second World War, 1939-1945, all
was gone, the Empire and also the independence of the homeland. The
lesson of course is that a structure built through centuries of war, bloodshed,
and high political tradition of choosing always for an enemy him whose
defeat would increase the Empire of England — that this can be lost through
one or two wars against a power not a real enemy.
In 1939 even there could be no difference of opinion among political
thinkers that England could not have an enemy in Europe, since the extra-
European forces, Japan, Russia and America had become decisive in world-
politics. But in 1946 there could be no difference of opinion on this subject
among human beings anywhere in the world, regardless of their ability or
inability to think politically. Always excepting the Liberals, of course, who
move among theories, and not among facts. Indeed, even after this
disastrous War, Liberals, distorters and stupid persons in England continued
to glory in the “victory”

of England. From the political standpoint, the most hopeful fact for
England’s future in the period after the War was that the extra-European
occupation forces were withdrawn from England.
Thus we have seen again the existential nature of organic alternatives:
a unit can either fight a real enemy, or it must lose. And again, a unit not
fighting a real enemy is in the service of another power — there is no middle
ground. If a unit is not fighting for itself, it is fighting against itself. The
broadest formulation of this fundament is: an organism must be true to its
own inner law of existence, or it will sicken and die. It is the inner law of a
political organism that it must increase its own power; this is the only way it
can behave toward power. If it tries to confer power on another organism, it
injures itself. If it tries merely to prevent another organism from attaining
power, it injures itself; if it gives up its complete existence to blocking
another organism, quite regardless of its success in this negative aim, it will
destroy itself.
France from 1871 onward is an example of the latter. The whole idea
of the existence of France as a State was to block and frustrate a neighboring
State. The inspiriting slogan of this idea was Revanche. The idea was
pursued for decades, and in the process, French power was destroyed. The
policy could not of course have arisen in a healthy organism.

The Laws of Totality and Sovereignty

The organic Laws of Sovereignty and Totality refer to all political

units whatever. They describe any unit, whatever its provenance, that
reaches the degree of intensity of expression at which it participates in a
friend-enemy disjunction. Totality refers both to issues within the organism
and to persons within the organism. Any issue within the organism is
subject to political determination, because every issue is potentially political.
Any person in the organism is existentially embraced in the organism.
Sovereignty places the decision in every important juncture with the
organism. Both of these laws are existential, like all organic conditions:
either the organism is true to them, or it is faced with sickness and death.
Both laws will be explained.
First the Law of Totality: Any contrast, opposition, or hostility
whatever existing within groups among the organism may become political
in its nature, if it reaches the point where a group or a unit feels another
group, class or stratum to be a real enemy. For such a unit to arise within an
organism is for

the possibility of civil war to be present, or a severe crisis in the organism,

which renders the organism liable to damage or extinction from without.
Therefore, every organism, by its very existence, has the characteristic that
it assumes power over the determination of all issues. This does not mean
that it plans the total life of the population — economic, social, religious,
educational, legal, technical, recreational. It means merely that all of these
things are subject to political determination. Many of these things are
neutral to some States, but objects of interest to others. But all organisms
will intervene when an inner grouping may possibly become a focus of a
friend-enemy disjunction. This describes all political units whatever,
entirely independently of how they formulate their written constitutions, if
they have any.
The Law of Totality affects individuals by embracing them
existentially in the life of the organism. Politics places the life of every man
within the political unit in the balance. It demands, by its very existence, the
readiness of all individuals in the service of its fulfillment to risk their lives.
Other groups may demand dues, periodical attendance at meetings,
investment of time in group projects. If they demand however — so
fundamental is this organic law of totality — that the member plight his life
to the group, they become therewith political. The French public law
professor Haurion designated it as the hall-mark of a political unit that it
embraced the individual entirely, whereas non-political groups embrace him
only partially.
This is the Law of Totality in other words. It is thus a touchstone of a
group for this purpose whether it demands an existential oath.
If a group extracts such an oath from members, the group is political.
This Law of Totality, it is hardly necessary to add, is

not at all derived from conscription for military service. Conscription exists
only for a few centuries within a High Culture, whereas the Law of Totality
describes the Culture itself when it is itself constituted as a political
organism, and, during the period of concentration of politics in Culture-
States, it describes every individual State. Like all organic laws it is
existential: if any inner force can challenge it, the organism is sick; if the
challenge is attended with success, the organism is in severe crisis and may
be annihilated. In any case, its unity will be temporarily in abeyance, with
the possibility of partitioning by outer powers.
The Law of Sovereignty is the inner necessity of organic existence
which places the decision in every important juncture with the organism, as
opposed to allowing any group within to make the decision. An important
juncture is any one which affects the organism as a whole, its steering in the
world, its choice of allies and enemies, the decision of war and peace, its
inner peace, its unchallenged inner right to decide controversies. If any of
these can be called into question, it is a sign that the organism is sick. In the
healthy organism, this sovereignty is absolutely undisputed, and may
continue so for centuries. But a new age with new interests may raise
contrasts which the rulers do not grasp; they may blunder, and find
themselves on the defensive in a civil war. The challenge of the sovereignty
of the organism was the first symptom of crisis. If the organism survives the
crisis, the new rulers of the same organism will be the focus of the same
An important fact has been touched upon with this: it is not the rulers
who are sovereign within the meaning of this law. Their powers in fact are
derived from their symbolic-representative position. If a stratum represents
and acts in the Spirit of the Age, revolution against it is impossible. An
organism true to itself cannot be sick or in crisis.

The Law of Sovereignty does not mean that every aspect of group life
within the organism is dominated at all times by the political, nor that
everything is organized, or that a centralized system of government
necessarily reaches out always and destroys every organization of whatever
kind. The outlook developed here is purely factual, and the Law of
Sovereignty describes all political organisms; it is a formulation in words of
a quintessential characteristic of a political organism.
Totality of organization — the “Total State” — is a phase of political
organizations at certain times and under certain conditions. Some States are
neutral in religious matters, others promulgate an official religion. Some
States during the 19th century were more or less neutral economically,
others intervened in the economic life. In the 20th century all States
intervene in economic affairs. Different terminology is used to describe this
intervention in different States, and the degree of intervention depends on
the necessity of the organism. Thus an organism with relatively abundant
economic resources will intervene to a lesser degree than one which must
make every particle of work and material count. But this does not alter the
fact that all States intervene in economics in the 20th century.
The Law of Sovereignty is independent of the fact that in a given
organism some internal force, say, religion or economics, may be stronger
than the government. Such a thing can, and often does, exist. If this internal
force is not yet strong enough to hinder the government, it is not yet
political; if it is strong enough only to stalemate the government, but not yet
strong enough to create war, then there is no political unit present. If no one
can make a determination of enmity, or of war, there is no politics. This
means that other units which preserve their political character can either
ignore the sick unit in making their own combinations, or can attack it with
good initial advantage.

The Law of Sovereignty is thus also existential. It describes a healthy

organism, on its path to fulfillment. Where this law does not obtain, the
organism is — vis-à-vis other organisms of the same kind — in abeyance,
and if this condition persists, the political organism will disappear. The best
example of a case where the Law of Sovereignty showed its existential
character is that of 18th century anarchic Poland . The weakness and
sickness of the organism led to its repeated partitioning.

The Pluralistic State

In the 19th century Western Civilization, the comparative neutrality of

the various States, and therefore the apparent weakness of the States vis-à-
vis internal economics units and their tactics, e.g., trade unions with their
strikes, led the Liberals and intellectuals to announce, a bit prematurely as it
turned out, that the State was dead.
“This colossal thing is dead,” announced the French and Italian
syndicalists. They were heard by other rationalists, and Otto von Gierke
came out with his doctrine of “the essential equality of all human groups.”
This was, of course, a way of denying the primacy of the State, and was thus
polemical and not factual. The intellectuals wanted the State to be dead, and
so they announced its passing as a fact. This theory came to be known as the
doctrine of “the pluralistic State.” It took its philosophical foundation and
its political theology from pragmatism, a philosophy of materialization of
the spiritual evolved in America. Pragmatism branded the seeking for a last
unity, in whatever realm, even in that of nature-study, as a superstition,

a remnant of Scholastic. Thus no more Cosmos, and naturally no more

State. This outlook was peculiarly adapted to the members of the Second
Internationale, which was liberal in tendency. Its two poles of thought were
the individual, at one extreme, and humanity, at the other. It saw the
“individual” as living in “society” as a member of many organizations, an
economic enterprise, a home, a church, a Turnverein, a trade-union, a nation,
a State, but none of these organizations had any sovereignty whatever over
the others, and all were politically neutral. The fighting proletariat of the
Communists became in such a pluralistic State also a politically neutral
trade-union or party. All the organizations would have their claim on the
individual, who would be bound to a “plurality of obligations and loyalties.”
The organizations would have relations and mutual interests, but no
subjection to the State, which would be merely an organization among
organizations, not even primes inter pares.
Such a pluralistic State is of course not a political organism. If an
external danger were to threaten such a State, it would either succumb at
once, or else fight, in which case, it would become at once a political
organism, and the “pluralism” would vanish. Such a pluralistic thing is not
politically viable. There is always the possibility of an external danger, an
internal natural catastrophe, such as a drought, famine or earthquake, which
would force centralization, or the arising of a group with political instincts
which aims at total power over other groups, and which does not have
enough intellect to understand the refined theory of the “pluralistic” State.
America, before 1914, was more or less such a thing, and from 1921 to 1933
it resumed its pluralism. This “pluralistic State” came to an end in 1933,
when a group arose which seized for itself a totality of power.

Political theories, like “pluralistic State,” “dictatorship of proletariat,”

“Rechtstaat,” “check and balance,” all have political significance, provided
they attain to a certain vogue. This significance is dual: first, all such
theories are imperative and polemical, and, by demanding a change in the
internal form of the State, show by their very existence at least that the State
against which they are complaining is sick; secondly, they are a technic for
weakening the State further, by working up real contrasts and finally rising
to the intensity of a friend-enemy disjunction, i.e., Civil War.
The 19th century was the heyday of using theories as political
technics. It will be as difficult for the 21st century to understand the idea of
“dictatorship of the proletariat” as it is for us to understand how Rousseau’s
theories could have been the focus of so much political passion. The
frightful crisis that occurs in all High Cultures when they enter upon their
last great phase, Civilization, the externalization of the Culture-soul, is also
the birth-time of Rationalism. As Napoleon said, “Intellect runs about the
pavements in France.” Intellect, the externalized, analyzing, dissecting
faculty of the soul, applies itself also to politics. The results are a spate of
theories, decline in the internal authority of all States, and the calling into
question of the internal authority in all States.

The Law of Constancy of Inter-Organismic Power

It has been seen that theories are a technic for weakening the State by
trying to work up a friend-enemy disjunction on the basis of the theory. This
technic is available not only to internal groups which aspire to attain to true
political significance, but also to other States. The other State need not even
have to carry out an intervention in order to reap the benefit of the activity of
theorizing groups in another State.
We have seen that a State which fights a power not a real enemy is
thereby fighting for a third power. This was but an instance of a law which
is broader, and which is called the Law of Constancy of Inter-Organismic
It may be thus formulated: In any age, the amount of power in a State-
system is constant, and if one organic unit is diminished in power, another
unit, or other units are increased in power by the same amount.
If a statesman, entrusted with the destiny of a State, moves with the
sure consciousness of mastery which a feeling for organic laws confers upon
him, he can never choose for the

enemy of his State a power which his State cannot defeat, for such a power
would not be a real enemy. He would know, even if only unconsciously,
that the power which his own State would lose, in a war it could not win,
would merely be transferred to some other power, either the one wrongly
chosen as enemy, or a third power. One of the many phenomena which
instance the Law of Constancy of Inter-Organismic Power is that of a given
State being racked internally by groups using theories to work up internal
contrasts. A point will be reached — short of the point of civil war, which
of course dissolves the organism at least temporarily — in this process at
which the external power of the organism will be diminished. The power
lost passes thereby to another State or States.
The circumstances of the total situation determine which other power
will be the beneficiary of this accretion of power. Even the particular theory
which the agitating group is using plays often a certain role, for certain
theories are owned by certain powers. France owned the theories of
“democracy” and “equality” from 1789 to 1815. England owned the theory
of “liberalism” in its many forms from the middle of the 19th century down
to the First World War. Russia took over the theory of “dictatorship of the
proletariat” in 1917.


In reality there is no such thing as a “political association” or a

“political society” — there can only be a political unit, a political organism.
If a group has real political significance, as shown by its ability to determine
a real enmity, with the actuality or possibility of war, the political unity
becomes decisive, and, even though it started out as a free intellectual
association, it has become a political unit, and has lost entirely any “social”

or “associative” character it may have had. This is no mere distinction of

words, for the political is its own thought category. To be in politics is not
the same as to be in a society, since a society involves no risk of life. Nor
can a society become political by calling itself so. True political thinking,
occasioned by the presence of a political organism will not take place in it,
unless it acquires real political unity, and the only way it can do this is to be
the focus of an enmity-opposition, with its possibility of war. The fact that a
group in an “election” votes as a unit does not confer upon it political
significance; usually the “election” itself has no political significance.

The Law of Constancy of Intra-Organismic Power

In the matter of elections which had a vogue of almost two centuries

during the life of the Western Civilization, both in Europe and in its
spiritually dominated areas elsewhere, an important law of political
organisms is shown.
In “democratic” conditions — the origin and historical significance of
“democracy” are shown elsewhere — occur the inner-political phenomena
known as “elections.” It was the theory of “democracy” arising about 1750
that the “absolute” power of the monarch, or the aristocracy, depending on
local conditions, must be broken, and this power transferred to “the people.”
This use of the word “people” shows again the necessarily polemical nature
of all words used politically. “People” was merely a negative; it merely
wished to deny that the dynasty, or else the aristocracy, belonged to “the
people.” It was thus an attempt to deny the monarch or aristocracy political
existence; in other words, this word implicitly defined them as the enemy, in
the true political sense. It was the first time in Western history that an
intellectualized theory became the

focus of political happening. Wherever the monarch or aristocracy were

stupid or incapable, wherever they looked backward instead of adapting
themselves to the new century, they went down. Wherever they took over
the theories themselves and interpreted them officially, they retained their
power and their command.
The technique of transferring this “absolute” power to “the people”
was to be through plebiscites, or “elections.” The theoretical proposal was
to give the power to millions of human beings, to each his nth/millionth
fraction of total existing political power. This was of course impossible in a
way that even the intellectuals could see, so the compromise was “elections”
through which each individual in the organism could “choose” a
“representative” for himself. If the representative did something, by a
satisfying fiction it was agreed that each little individual “represented” had
done that himself. In a short time it became obvious to men interested in
power, either for themselves personally, or to carry through their ideas, that
if one worked previously to one of these “elections” to influence the minds
of the voting populace, he would be “elected.” The greater one’s means of
persuasion of the masses of voters, the more certain was his subsequent
“election.” The means of persuasion were whatever one had at hand:
rhetoric, money, newsprint. Since elections were large things, disposing of
large amounts of power, only those who commanded corresponding means
of persuasion could control them. Oratory came into its own, the Press
stepped out as a lord of the land, the power of Money towered above all. A
monarch could not be bought; what bribe could appeal to him? He could not
be put under the usurers’ pressure — he could not be sued. But party
politicians, living in times when values became increasingly money-values,
could be bought. Thus democracy presented the picture of the

populace under the compulsion of elections, the delegates under the

compulsion of Money, and Money sitting in the seat of the monarch.
So the absolute power remained — as it must in any organism, for it is
an existential law of every organism that: The power within an organism is
constant, and if individuals, groups, or ideas within the organism are
diminished in power, some other individuals, groups, or ideas are increased
in power by that amount. This Law of Constancy of Intra-Organismic
Power is existential, for if a diminution of power in one place within does
not pass elsewhere within the organism, the organism is sickened, weaker,
and may have lost its political existence as an independent unit. The history
of South America from 1900 to 1950 is rich in examples of triumphant
revolutions against regimes that stripped them of power — which then
moved to the United States of North America, and as long as that condition
continued, the country in which such a revolution had occurred was a colony
of Yanqui imperialismo.

The Political Pluriverse

We have seen what the pluralistic State is. There is, however, another
type of pluralism, one of fact and not of theory. There is a pluriverse in fact,
which is not merely an attempt to prove one philosophy or to deride another.
The world of politics is a pluriverse. Although politics has been defined as
activity in relation to power, and the inner nature, prerequisites, and
invariable characteristic of politics have been set forth, nevertheless the
nature of power itself remains to be shown. Power is a relation of control
between two similar organisms. The degree of control is determined by the
nature of the two organisms acting reciprocally on one another. Power
appears, in its dim beginnings, in the animal world, where the beasts of prey
exert something similar to power over their prospective victims. As
something more than transitory, something constituted, however, it begins
with man.
Animals can be classified spiritually — and there is no point in any
other classification, such as the materialistic Linnean one — into two great
groups, herbivores and beasts of prey. If the

materialistic thinkers had ever looked at it so, they would surely have put
man down as a beast of prey. And they would have been correct for the
animal part of him. This animal part is in constant tension with the spiritual
part, the specifically human soul which sees symbolism in things and gives
the symbol primacy over the mere phenomenon. For this is in very truth the
deepest depth of all philosophizing whatever. Where does the question of a
conflict between “appearance” and “reality” ever come from in the first
place? All great philosophy in High Cultures, and there is none without
High Cultures, has been saturated with the idea of establishing the true
relationship between appearance and reality, and this was in obedience to an
instinct which embodies the essence of man: his human soul tells him that
Alles Vergängliche ist nur ein Gleichnis.
The will-to-power of the beasts of prey is limited and practical; it is
fierce but unspiritual. Man carries within him this same will-to-power, but
his soul infuses into it a purely spiritual intensity that raises its demands and
its performances incomparably above the level of the beast. To the beast his
will-to-power comes into play only in killing. Man, however, seeks not to
kill, but to control. To control he will kill, but as Clausewitz correctly said,
conquerors prefer submission and peace, it is the victim who makes the war.
A man with a strong will-to-power wants control, not war as an end in itself.
But a display of will-power by one man calls forth opposition
elsewhere. Similarly with superpersonal organisms — they do not and
cannot exist alone, since, in their political aspect they are units of opposition.
Each one exists as a unit-with-the-power-to-choose-and-fight-enemies. The
ability to create a friend-enemy disjunction is the essence of the political.
But this ability necessitates opponents of similar rank. Hence

it is quite total political stupidity to speak of a world with only one State,
one Parliament, one government or however they put it. One could forgive
Tennyson, but one can only say that if a politician talks about a world with
“one State,” “one Parliament,” or “one government,” he is the perfect type of
the intellectual ass, and should be anywhere except in a position to distort
the destiny of a State and bring misery to the individuals in it. He is an ass,
even though he knows better, for — and this will sound self-evident to
readers of 1980 and after — there is absolutely no necessity for a politician
to deal in lies exclusively, as the Liberal school, the class-warriors, and the
distorters believe. Men who are fighting against the Future perhaps have
good reason to practice deception constantly, to throw clouds of theories
over their actions, to say peace when they mean war, and war when they
mean peace, and to keep elaborate classifications of “secret,” “confidential”
and the like.
The only secrecy that needs to exist in politics is that created by
limitations of understanding on the part of individuals — and absolutely
nothing can be done about this type of secrecy. For instance, the facts about
the nature of politics and power which have been set down here will remain
secret from the intellectuals and rationalists forever, even though they read
And similarly with lies: quite obviously the statesman who is the
embodiment of the Spirit of the Age has no need of fundamental lies. He
cannot fear the truth, since his actions are those of organic necessity, against
which no force within the organism can prevail. Equally obviously he who
sets out to strangle the Future, like Metternich and the Fürstenbund, or the
Liberals, democrats, party-leaders of whatever nature, culture-distorters, and
intellectuals of the period 1900-1975 have daily, pressing need of lies, ever
bigger and better lies. They like to call this Macchiavellism, and to accuse
others of it. But

Macchiavelli was certainly not a “Macchiavellian,” or he would not have

written his factual, truthful book. Instead he would have written a book
about how good human nature is in general, and how extraordinarily good in
particular is the nature of princes. Where Macchiavelli writes of deception
he is thinking of deceiving the enemy — Liberals and distorters regard
deception as the norm of conduct toward the populations whose destiny is in
their hands, and over whose lives they hold the power of disposition.
The classic example in this realm is and will always remain the
“election” in America in the Fall of 1940. There were two candidates,
representing the same interests, and the populace was offered its “choice”
between them. The issue which the populace would thereby “decide” was
whether or not America would intervene in the Second World War. Both
candidates said publicly in totally unequivocal language that they would not
involve America in the War. Yet both of them were committed to the
interests which made them candidates to involve America in the war as soon
as possible. Both candidates were of course successful, for in late
democratic conditions, the parties become trusts and no longer compete,
since competition would injure them both. After the “election,” the two
successful candidates carried out their real commitment, took America to
war, and sent to their deaths the very men whose lives they had vowed to
spare from death in the Second World War, which did not affect American
interests. One of the candidates explained after the “election” that his non-
intervention promise to the populace was mere “campaign oratory.”
In such a case, there is no doubt whatever that Macchiavelli would
have counseled the rulers of America to have both candidates declare for
intervention. But party-politicians deal in lies from inner compulsion, for
their activity itself is an organic lie.

League of Nations

The fact that a world with one State or one government was an
organic impossibility was well shown by two attempts on the part of what
might be called the Holy Alliance of the 20th century to institute such a
condition. After each of the first two World Wars the extra-European Holy
Alliance against Europe established a “League of Nations.”
The political organisms however remained organic, and thus subject
to the Law of Sovereignty. If a political unit exists it is sovereign; the
member units of these two “leagues of nations” continued to exist politically
and thus were sovereign. Incidentally the organic Law of Sovereignty is not
the “principle of sovereignty of nations” of Grotius and Pufendorff; that was
a legal concept and thus subject to juristic quibbling, whereas the organic
Law of Sovereignty describes all political units whatever since it belongs to
their very existence.
Thus the dilemma was that the “leagues of nations” had no
sovereignty — again I am speaking of factual, organic sovereignty, not legal
sovereignty — and hence were not political

units. There is no political unit without organic sovereignty; there is no

organic sovereignty without a political unit.
What, then, were these two “leagues of nations”? They had two
aspects, the ethical and the practical-political.
In terms of practical politics, they were polemical realities. Whatever
power controlled them could thus speak for all nations, and thus any power
opposing it was hors-la-loi, outside the comity of nations, not even human,
for the league was humanity. They rapidly of course, needless to say, passed
into the control of certain member-States, according to the Law of
Sovereignty — where there is no sovereignty there is no independent
political unit, and sovereignty must therefore reside elsewhere. And, in fact,
the first league of nations, formed after the First World War, passed into the
control of England. The second league of nations, formed in a time — after
the Second World War — when politics had entered upon a more absolute
stage, was seized by America.
This was foreseeable from the fact that Russia had allowed the
geographical site of it to be established in America. This was not merely to
keep out the undesirable swarms of ideologues, parasites, and holiday-
makers, such as necessarily accompany every “league of nations,” and to
keep out the spies who pullulate in such a condition, but it actually showed a
limited and secondary interest in the thing.
In the past, certain powers have owned certain theories. Conversely,
there has never been an important theory that did not have practical, political
ownership. A theory without a political unit to use it to practical purpose is
not important; if the protagonists of a theory have sufficient passion and
non-theoretical political skill to work up intense feeling with their theory,
they will possibly attain power with such a weapon. If they reach a point
just short of power, an already existing political

unit will appropriate the theory for practical purposes. Example: Marxism,
taken over in 1918 by Bolshevik Russia for political use against Europe,
when its protagonists in Germany showed themselves politically stillborn.
The “league of nations” theory was, in fact, owned by America.
Whoever spread the idea — even England, which seized the first “league”
— was increasing the power of America, whether he knew it or not.
It was inevitable that politicians free of ideology, like the Kremlin
Mongols, would see this. Since they understood how to use theories, it was
obvious they would allow no political unit to hamstring them with its theory.
Thus perished the second and last “league of nations.”
There was also an ethical aspect to these leagues. They were another
example of the deception that was still thought in the first half of the 20th
century to be a necessity of political conduct. They were actually nothing
but polemical attempts to deny Europe. The formation of Europe as a
political unit was in the Spirit of the Age. Whoever agitated anything else
was merely negating this idea. This explains the fact that though the two
“leagues of nations” accomplished nothing else as a political fact,
nevertheless they prevented — Europe. This is quite independent of
whether all people participating were conscious of this. However, it is the
organic task of the politician to be conscious of political reality and to
understand and assess rightly the possibilities of the time. It is of course
now known that many persons who participated in these world-frauds were
quite conscious of the realities.
From what has been said about the nature of political organisms the
relation of the statesman to his political organism is obvious: just as he calls
on his populace to die, he cannot refuse if necessary to give his own life. To
his political unit he owes

all his physical energies and all his talent and genius. For him to be careless
in researching a situation — and above all — for him to do that which he
knows is contrary to the furtherance of the life of the organism is to forfeit
his right to live. He can consider himself lucky indeed if he is able to die of
a heart attack, brain concussion, blood clot or simply old age.
When the extra-European forces gradually increased their power to
such an extent that the independent existence of the West became
problematical — this was evident from 1920 onward, and was transparent
from 1933 — it was the collective duty to their States and to the Western
Civilization for all statesmen in Europe to endeavor to save their respective
States and Western States collectively from political annihilation by extra-
European forces. Thus any statesman in a European State who sabotaged
the general West-European understanding and final settlement that was
sought by the custodians of the spirit of the Western Civilization was a
strangler and distorter of the destiny of his own country and of that of the
Western Civilization.
The ethics thus formulated is an ethics of fact. It is organic, political,
factual and nothing else.
Its sole imperative is an organic-political one. It is distinguished from
religious ethics in that it has no theological sanction. It is distinguished from
all ethical systems whatever in that it only sees one relationship — that of
the individual to the political unit. Nor does it have a sanction in the
punitive sense. The organic relationship between the political unit and the
statesman itself sets the ethical imperative. If the statesman violates it by
injuring instead of furthering the life of the organism, the sanction is a
matter for Destiny, the inner force of organisms. By doing so he forfeits his
right to live, but often he is fortunate enough to escape with his life. The

embrace of the lives of the individuals in it which has been shown to be an

essential characteristic of a political unit makes no exception in favor of
politicians. At its highest tension, this organic imperative causes a statesman
in its service to tie his own life to the success of his own idea for the
organism. Bismarck and Friedrich der Grosse also were determined to take
their lives in the event of failure.

The Inner Aspect of the Law of Sovereignty

The Law of Sovereignty describes characteristics of all political units

whatever. It places the decision in every matter having political significance
with the organism. Depending on circumstances any one, or even more,
internal issues may become important politically, i.e., may begin to assume
the form of a political unit and determine a friend-enemy disjunction. The
government of the organism will always intervene at this point if its
understanding and will are unimpaired. Charles I of England allowed this
critical juncture to pass, by allowing his first Parliament to send Montague to
the tower for preaching the divine right of kings. From then on the situation
deteriorated steadily, and a correspondingly increasing amount of force was
necessary to attempt to change the direction events were moving. The actual
significance of the struggle was seen from the very beginning by the
contemporary political thinker Thomas Hobbes, who wrote against the State-
destroying nature of the Parliamentary position. He was also sensitive
enough to the situation to know when things had reached the stage of

insecurity, and left England in 1640. During these years of internal enmity,
England did not exist as a political unit, it was ignored in European power-
combinations, and it can thank the total European situation that it was not
The Parliament considered itself the government, the monarchists
considered themselves the government. A political outlook naturally does
not concern itself with the question of which was “right.” Such a question
has no political meaning. It has only a legal meaning, and law is a reflex of
politics. Politics is concerned with assessing facts and acting upon them;
law comes afterward and has the function of consolidating a given political
fact-complex. Law formulates the disjunction legal-illegal according to
political dictate. If there is no political unit to prescribe the law, there can be
no law. Thus in time of Civil War there is no law — there are two laws. If
the result of the War is a reconstitution of the former people and territory
again as a political unit, it will always turn out that the victor was the one
who was legally right all the time, and the defeated was legally wrong. This
invariable fact shows the nature of law.
Nevertheless, Parliament and King stood opposed, each claiming to be
England. Politically, they were both wrong, for there was no England. In
political language, two Englands equal no England. Each of the two groups
was a political unit, and had become such by determining an enemy. Each of
them was conducting itself as a government and each availed itself of the
organic political right — also, but afterward a legal right — to determine the
inner enemy. An organic characteristic of all political units whatever — that
they determine the inner enemy when they feel it necessary — is the internal
corollary of the Law of Sovereignty. Thus Cavaliers in Parliamentary
territory were the enemy of the government, and their existence was that

of outlaws. Correspondingly with adherents of Parliament in Royal

territory. It must not be supposed because of the example used of a Civil
War, that such determination of the inner enemy only occurs then. On the
contrary, if Charles I had declared his opponents to be inner enemies from
the very beginning, and had treated them as such, there had been no Civil
War. To do this however, he lacked the vigor and the understanding. He
should have consulted Hobbes, who understood these things. But Charles
was not a reading man, and did not know Hobbes’s treatises on Human
Nature and De Corpore Politico.
Every political unit in history has exercised in need, and sometimes
not in need, its organic power to determine the inner enemy. If it does it
soon and proceeds thoroughly, the danger is past. If it procrastinates and
takes half-measures, it ceases to be a political unit.
If it exercises this power when there is no need, it is merely
persecuting its own population, and is sowing seeds of hatred that will one
day bear surprising fruit. The organic ethic of the relation of the statesman
to his political unit applies also to conduct of this type. The statesman has
no organic right to dispose wantonly of the lives of the populace. To send
subjects to their death in a war against a power not a real enemy, a war
which thus by its very nature must be unsuccessful, or to declare a group as
an inner enemy when it does not contain the real possibility of constituting
itself as a true political unit, is vicious, non-political conduct in both cases.
Such a man exposes himself to the organic sanction that Destiny often
imposes in such cases.
This organic right to determine the inner enemy is not always
exercised in the same manner. It may be open: arrest, sudden attack,
shooting down at home, butchery in the streets. It may be concealed:
drawing up of punitive laws general in their

terms but applying in fact only to one group. It may be purely formless, but
nonetheless real: the ruler may attack verbally the individual or group in
question. Such a declaration may be used only to intimidate, or it may be a
method of bringing about assassination. It may be economic pressure —
such a tactic is naturally the favorite of Liberals. A “blacklist” or boycott
may destroy the group or individual.
It goes without saying that the exercise of such a right has no
connection whatever with any written “constitution” which purports verbally
to distribute the public power in a political unit. Such a “constitution” may
forbid such a declaration of inner enemy, but units with such constitutions
have never hesitated in need, and have often invoked such procedure
independently of need. Thus the transatlantic part of the anti-Europe
coalition in the Second World War carried out, quite independently of
necessity, since there was no real inner enemy as a matter of fact, extensive
inner persecutions directed against groups and strata of its population. It
does not affect the political nature of this activity that it was done by culture-
distorting elements, for the organic laws set out here describe all political
units whatever, even if they fall into the hands of political and cultural


This inward application of the Law of Sovereignty is of course valid

for political units in all the High Cultures. Our information on it in the
Classical Culture is sufficient to show its development there. The best-
known example is that of the Resolution of Demophantos in the year 410
B.C. which declared of every person who sought to destroy Athenian
democracy that he was “an enemy of the Athenians.” In the same period the

Ephors of Sparta declared war on all Helots found living within the territory
of Sparta. In our own Culture, the activities of the Grand Inquisitor
Torquemada are instructive, and above all the famous document by which
Phillip II condemned the entire population of the Netherlands to death as
heretics represents about the ultimate development of which this organic
right is capable. Calvin’s theocracy in Geneva was outdone by Phillip only
In old Roman public law the undesirable was declared solemnly to be
“hostis,” which was the word describing the public enemy. The Imperial
proscriptions, regardless of their economic motive, were an application of
the same organic function. In the Holy Roman Empire, the Acht und Bann
were directed against inner dangerous or unwanted elements. They were
declared Friedlos, and placed outside all protection. Anyone aiding such a
person fell thereby into the same category. The Jacobins and the Comité de
salut public slew their thousands of victims, both with and without
declaration of enmity.
In early democratic conditions, the weakening of the State vis-à-vis
internal groups would have made it more difficult to invoke this right, but
correspondingly, since all Western States were in more or less the same
internal condition, the necessity for its invocation was not often present. In
any case the triumph of theories of equality and freedom in the realm of
political vocabulary made it inexpedient to invoke the right in the old open,
declared, legalistic way.
The early democracy was, in the Western Civilization, from about
1800 to 1850. During this period internal sovereignty as exemplified by
determination of the internal enemy was more refined, intellectualized,
concealed. Examples: The American Alien and Sedition Laws, the Austrian
measures against democrats 1815–1848. Bismarck’s laws against class-

Of course in war the right was as forcefully exercised as ever, but was
usually legally formless: the Yankees in the American War of Secession,
1861–1865; French Communards, 1871.
With the sudden transition to non-democratic conditions marked by
the First World War, began the Age of Wars of Annihilation. It could also
be called the Age of Absolute Politics. The 19th century was the Age of
Economics — not that economics was ever prior in a real sense in the world
of action, but economics supplied much of the motivation of politics, as
shown by phenomena like the Opium War, the American War of Secession,
the Boer War. Economics wants a weak State, and in the Age of Economics,
the States were on the defensive, but the new Zeitgeist changed the entire
meaning of History and content of action. Because of the fact that the
Zeitgeist of the 20th century did not attain to external triumph in all Europe,
many supposed that the Age of Economics was not only continuing but was
attaining to new victorious heights.
That this was not the case was shown by the war which greeted the
opening of the century. The war in question was between the Boer State, a
colony of the Western Civilization, and England. The War was not against
savages, or aborigines of spoil lands and thus does not come into the same
classification as the Australian war against the autochthonous tribes of
Tasmania, when the victims were hunted down like rabbits to total
extermination. We have seen that the armed contests between Western
Culture-States were not true wars, but were agonal in nature. The turning
point to Civilization was marked by Napoleon, the herald of absolute war
and politics, but this tradition continued so strong that in the French War
against Prussia, 1870–1871, victorious Prussia still did not think of
annihilating the totally defeated foe, nor of subjecting it to an endless
military occupation, but contented itself with re-incorporating

two provinces and imposing an indemnity which was paid off in a few years.
England had also so conducted itself in intra-Cultural armed contests.
And yet in 1900, it carried the war against the Boers to complete
annihilation. This was in true 20th century style, and note that it was
England, the organism which had brought forth the idea of the 19th century
and was not destined to produce the idea of the 20th century, which thus
acted completely within the spirit of the new age. So strong is the Spirit of
the Age — it compels inner submission even though one use the formulae of
the past and believe that he is leading a moribund idea to new life.
The Boer War was mentioned because it marked a turning point also
in the matter of the internal aspect of the Law of Sovereignty. In this War,
the English armies initiated the 20th century method of designating and
handling the inner enemy. It is nonetheless an historical epoch in this matter
that no real political need existed for what occurred, for we are interested in
what did occur, and not in re-writing history. In this War, large numbers of
civilian Boers, men, women and children, came into the custody of the
English armies. They were taken into custody on the theory that they were a
danger to the internal security of the territory controlled by the Empire, that
thus they were inner enemies. The numbers involved were considerable, too
great for the systems of prisons and jails there existing. The solution
adopted was to place them into detention camps, hastily constructed ad hoc.
These were called “concentration camps,” and this word was to have a
destiny of its own.
After the First World War, the Age of Absolute Politics showed its
manifestations everywhere, and one way it did it was to introduce this
“concentration camp” system into every country in the Western Civilization.
The more dangerous its

external situation, the greater was the necessity of firm inner control,
unbroken and unbreakable inner peace, and thus those countries with the
most political concern introduced large numbers of persons they declared
inner enemies, or in any case treated as inner enemies, into prison camps.
But since the word was connected with politics, it acquired polemical
significance, and was used by some States as a method of attacking the
“morality” of other States. And yet these concentration camps were similar
in all countries, just as prisons are. It is not material that extra-European
forces imprisoned Europeans in the camps they set up in England, or that
Europe imprisoned Slavs, Jews and Bolsheviks in the camps it set up in
Europe; the camps were essentially the same from the political standpoint.
They both illustrate the internal aspect of the Law of Sovereignty as it
develops in the 20th century. The Age of Absolute Politics has a full
century more in its course, and thus the number of prison camps and the
number of inmates will increase and not decrease.
It remains to say a word on the future development of internal
sovereignty. Since the spirit of these times and the next is no longer that of
economics, but that of absolute politics, sly and veiled methods of acting
against inner individuals and groups will fall into disuse. In their place will
appear once more open and legally formulated inner enemy-declarations.
Even economically motivated determinations will be quite openly pursued
with political means.

Political Organisms and War

A political unit has the jus belli, the organic right to make war on the
enemy it has determined. Not moral right here — this organic right is a
thing independent of morality, even though also the strictest Scholastic
philosophers gave to political units the purely moral right to wage war. But
it is in a purely political way that the word is used here: the right to make
war is a part of the habitus of the organism. The existence as a political unit,
the determination of an enemy, the making of war, the maintenance of the
inner peace, the declaration of the inner enemy, the power of life and death
over the life of all subjects — these are merely different facets of politico-
organic existence. They cannot be separated; they are an indivisible whole;
insofar as they can be defined at all, they can only be so in terms of each
In the exercise of its power to make war, a State disposes of the lives
of its own subjects and of those of the enemy. This bloodshed is not a life-
requirement of a State, but occurs merely as a part of the process of
acquiring power. The State

directly seeking power is not the one that brings about bloodshed and war.
No politician whatever would make war against another unit if he thought it
would submit to incorporation without a fight. Thus war is always the result
of resistance, and not of political dynamism. War is not normative; it is
existential only. In the entire panorama of the history of the High Cultures, I
doubt that there has been a case where the ruling stratum of a political unit
ever decided that, first of all, it wanted war, and then cast about for someone
upon whom to make war. It would not be political.
Nor is the mere power over life and death generally, jus vitae ac necis,
the hall-mark of a political organism. Many States in history recognized this
power to be in family units. Old Rome gave it to the paterfamilias. Some
States have allowed the master power over the life of the slave. Most states
have permitted the victim of an imputation of dishonor to contest for the life
of his vilifier. Many States have recognized the right of blood-revenge
among clans — although this reaches the very frontier in this matter, and is
seldom found, and then only in peace.
It is thus quite conclusive that politics, as such, seeks no monopoly of
taking life. Politics at its highest potential, war, takes life only because
resistance requires it. Politics is activity in relation to power, and there is
only one way organic instinct behaves toward power: it seeks more.
Metaphysically this is the relation between the soul of man and the soul of
the High Culture on the one hand, and the habitus of the beast of prey on the
other hand. Although it permits subjects in certain cases, which it
determines, in accordance with the Law of Sovereignty, to take life, the State
never permits subjects to make war. If a group of subjects assume this
power, a new State has arisen. If the right of blood-revenge turns into clan-
warfare, the State

must intervene, for its existence is involved. That is why, in all States
engaged in serious politics, the right of blood-revenge is abrogated.
The right to make war and in the process to dispose of life is purely
political. No Church could possibly ask its members to die for the Church
— this is quite different from insisting that martyrdom is preferable to
apostacy — unless it is becoming a political unit. In critical times, many
Churches, such as Abu Bekr’s Islam, have become States, but then they are
no longer Churches, and they are ruled by the political way of thinking and
its basic inner, organic demand for more power, and no longer by the
religious imperative of salvation and conversion.
It would be cruel and insane to ask men to die in order that the
remainder would have an unimpaired, or higher standard of economic life.
When war is motivated by an economic idea, the economics vanishes into
the war-political situation; i.e., the test of success is the political one, the
method of waging it is not reviewed as to its cost, the means used always are
military-political, the leadership is always political, and would be so even if
exclusively economists were used as the war leaders. Their thinking would
indeed be curious, but it would not be economic. Politics and economics are
two different directions of human thinking and are hostile to one another.
For this reason no true politician and no true soldier would ever with full
consciousness carry on or fight a war for an exclusively economic motive,
no matter what grand opportunities it offered for personal distinction.
Economically motivated wars like the American War of Secession, 1861-
1865, the English Opium War, the Boer War were of necessity presented to
the participants under an untruthful propaganda.
Economics lacks the strength in itself — i.e., “pure” economics — to
rouse men to the level of action where they will risk their

lives. This is because economics presupposes life, and merely seeks ways of
securing, nourishing, perpetuating the life. It simply does not make sense to
buy life with death — when death becomes a possibility, we are no longer in
the sphere of economics. If economics wants a certain war, it can only bring
it about by political means, and then also — we are no longer in the sphere
of economics.
Morality has often been put forward as the motivation of war, and
many wars have been waged in the name of morality. This however does
not make sense — that is not according to any Western system of morality
— for States are not within the purview of morality, which is valid only for
individuals. Furthermore the materialistic morality of the 19th century
denounced war as murder. Therefore when protagonists of this type of
morality — and they continue to exist and to do so — demand a war to stop
war, it is an obvious fraud. The most any one man can do about stopping
murder is to refrain from murders himself, but these morality-warriors have
not done that.
A morality-war is impossible not only from the moral side, but from
the war-political side. War is not a norm — one cannot fight against it.
War is an existential disjunction, not a system or an institution. There is no
rational aim, program, for economic, moral, esthetic or other change, no
ever-so-correct norm that would justify one in killing. To adopt war and
politics is in fact to abandon the other things. One can retain non-political
ideas privately, but if they become public they vanish into the political. The
result is politics dressed in moral clothing.
Another fact emerges about politics mixed with morality. There are,
first, two possible mixtures: that of the Cromwell-Torquemada type on the
one hand, in which also the politician believes that he is actualizing morality
by his policies, and the

Lincoln-Roosevelt type, in which the morality is purely a deception. In the

first case, in proportion as the politician thinks morally, his politics is faulty.
Thus Cromwell refused in 1653 a Spanish Alliance which would have been
highly advantageous to England because he abhorred the religion of Spain.
His conduct was of course nonetheless politics, for he made with France the
same alliance he refused with Spain and received considerably less from it
than Spain had offered. In the second case, where it is not taken seriously,
as in the case of Roosevelt, it is not morality at all and is repulsive to honor.
Thus morality in politics makes bad politics if taken seriously, and if used
cynically, it dishonors him who uses it.
The question may be asked why moral vocabulary is imported into
politics in this Age of Absolute Politics. The answer is that it is done quite
deliberately and politically. It is elementary that politics does not include
within the idea enemy any subsidiary content of malice or hatred. Hatred is
private; it occurs between antipathetical persons out of their own private
hostility. Even though this terminology is different from that of Hegel, the
idea is identical. He spoke of the hatred of the public enemy as being
undifferentiated and totally free from personality. This is no longer hatred in
the primary meaning of that word. War is between States, and when the
enemy State is overcome what overcome means is a reflex of the Age, and in
an Age of Absolute Politics means total incorporation of the other State —
there can be no more war. Enmity ceases, and if there ever was any
animosity of any kind it must cease now, since it was directed, if it was
political, against the enemy State. That State is gone.
But — if the population of a State has been given exclusively
propaganda to the effect that the war was not political, but for moral,
humanitarian, legal, scientific and other reasons, this

population will regard the end of the war as the beginning of unlimited
opportunities of oppressing the population of the former enemy State. Moral
propaganda thus stands forth in its nakedness — in the 20th century it is a
means of fighting a war after the war, a war not this time against a State with
weapons in its hands, but against the survivors of the defeat. Herein is the
true significance of a phenomenon that mystified many persons at that time
— I refer to the “concentration camp” propaganda against Europe, which
was developed to its full height after the Second World War. This
propaganda was solely for the purpose of a war after the war, thus not a true
war, since there was no opposing unit, but an attempt to rouse extra-
European populations and extra-European armies of occupation to ever-
renewed ferocity and personal hatred against a defenseless European
Thus a moral “war to end war” develops in actuality into an endless
war. A war for humanitarian purposes develops into a war to exterminate by
starvation the population of the former State. A war against concentration
camps results in bigger and more numerous concentration camps. This must
be so in an Age of Absolute Politics, for obviously moral reasons for a war
are not necessary in such an age. Propaganda cannot bring more men on to
the battlefield than can the Spirit of the Age. Therefore he who is using the
vocabulary of morality wishes to import into the struggle a viciousness that
the spirit of politics alone cannot develop. Proudhon observed: “Whoever
says humanity wishes to deceive.”
Only politics shows the real meaning of war. Economics, esthetics,
law and the other forms of thought cannot supply its meaning, for war is
politics at its highest intensity. The political meaning of a war is that it is
waged against a real enemy. To be justified politically, the war must be an
affirmation of the

political organism or for the saving of the organism. To expend human life
in any other war is distortion of the destiny of the State and treacherous
dishonorable killing of the soldiers and civilians who die in it. The decision
as to who is the enemy must be made by statesmen who embody the national
idea, and if it is not, the result is political distortion. In the language of
politics a just war is only that one waged against a real enemy.
It is immature thinking to suggest that military men should decide in
such matters. It is possible for a politician to be also a soldier, but a soldier
does not become ipso facto a politician. In Rome all statesmen generally
speaking were ex-commanders, but they had gone into the field as part of
their political careers. Caesar embarked late in life upon the military career,
but how many professional soldiers could have gone into politics with
corresponding attainment? In matters of politics, soldiers are circumstanced
the same as the populace in general.

The Law of Political Plenum

The essentiality of war to organic political existence is shown by the

fact that a State cannot give up its jus belli without thereby giving up
political existence. There have been in the history of the High Cultures very
few examples of a political unit abandoning, either openly and consciously,
or simply through submission, the organic right to make war. And in no
case has a power that was important, or even considered itself to be
important, renounced this right.
The famous Kellog Pact — what 21st century historians will designate
as the high point of ideology-politics — did not even try to obligate its
signatories to renounce war. The pact merely “condemns” war. The French
version was “condamner,” the German “verurteilen.” Naturally in an age
when many politicians were masquerading as clerics, most anyone was
willing to “condemn” war. But the leading clerical powers made
reservations to their condemnation. Thus England said that it could not
condemn war in the case of its national honor, self-defense, implementation
of the League of Nations or of neutrality

treaties, or of the Locarno treaty, the welfare of spheres of interest like

Egypt, Palestine and so on. France made similar exceptions, as did Poland.
It was soon observed by political thinkers that the pact did not forbid, but
sanctioned war, for the exceptions covered all possible cases.
Thenceforward wars were to be legally formulated. Other political thinkers
compared it to a New Year’s resolution.
Organic realities were thus obeyed by this singular Kellog Pact, even
though it purported to set them aside. Instead of law abolishing politics,
politics used law, as usual, to prop up a certain political state of affairs.
The Pact also spoke only of war “as an instrument of national policy.”
As an instrument of some other idea however, nothing was said, not even of
international policy. Thus the most vicious wars were not covered by the
treaty. A war for an international policy, for “humanity,” for “morality” and
the like is the worst of all possible wars, for it dehumanizes the opponent,
makes him into a personal enemy, sanctions any type of cruelty against him,
and removes all restraints of honor from the person conducting such a war.
Nor is it possible to give up political existence entirely. Only a unit
may disappear. The Organic Law of Political Plenum appears. If a given
State should become tired through old age, and wished no longer to carry on
war or politics, it could, if it desired, announce its idea to the world of States.
It could say that it had renounced enmity and embraced all States as its
friends, that it would make no more war and wanted only peace. Such
conduct, no matter how logical it would be to effectuate such a wish, would
not have that result. Logic does not obtain in politics. A State would by
such conduct create a political vacuum, and other States not tired of war and
politics would immediately abolish this vacuum and bring the area and

population of the abdicating State into its own realm. Such a plenary action
might be open and undisguised, or it might be veiled. In any case an
abdicating power moves at once into a larger realm. A political vacuum is
an impossibility in a system of States. This Law of Political Plenum
describes actual political situations, and there need be no announcement of
abdication by the disappearing State. If such a State merely by reason of the
general development of the larger situation sinks into the place where it
cannot wage war, i.e., engage in politics, the Law of Political Plenum is at
once operative. It is not necessary for the incorporation of the disappearing
State into the larger State to be accompanied by the marching in of troops.
This is of course the 20th century method of doing it, for this is the Age of
Absolute Politics, and any type of disguise for political action is both
unnecessary and inappropriate. It occurs automatically with the lowering of
political potential in the disappearing State.
Thus, for example, the American seizure of half Europe after the
Second World War was a mixture of military and crypto-political means.
The seizure of the other half of Europe by Russia was more open, but still
loaded with 19th century talk of “justification,” “non-interference,”
“security,” “military necessity,” and so forth. In both cases the fiction of
independence of the former political units of Europe was maintained.
This dividing of the Western Civilization between the two extra-
European forces occurred as an instance of the Law of Political Plenum.
European States were individually unable to wage war after 1945 because of
the enormous requirements in industrial establishment and man-power.
These existed only in Russia and America. Europe collectively thus became
a political vacuum, because of the individual political incapacity of the
States of the Western Civilization.

Inability to wage war is abdication in fact of political existence,

whether the abdicating State knows this or not. Thus, apart from all fiction,
the frontiers which were maintained for a while in Europe after the Second
World War were not power-frontiers, but administrative lines of
demarcation. Thus America and Russia did not take these frontiers seriously
each within its own half of Europe. The only frontier Russia and America
took seriously was the one remaining power-frontier in Europe, that between
them. The world of actual politics at any one time is described by powers
capable of waging war.
Only political independence can be given up, not political existence.
Politics still is present, with its existential embrace of the lives of the whole
population. We stand before the Organic Law of Protection and Obedience.

The Law of Protection and Obedience

The purpose for which the great political thinker Hobbes wrote his
Leviathan was to show the world once more the “Mutual Relation between
Protection and Obedience,” demanded alike by human nature and divine
law. The Roman formula was protego ergo obligo. To him who supplies
protection also goes obedience. It will go either voluntarily, as the result of
persuasion, or as the result of force. Once more, there is here no moral
content in this formula. It may have also a moral aspect, but nothing said
about it here relates to any such aspect, or to any other aspect than the purely
political. A 20th century outlook on politics is necessarily purely factual,
and neither approves nor disapproves of political realities. Approval and
disapproval on a moral basis is outside politics. Approval and disapproval
on the basis of Culture-feelings, taste and instinct is, however, the driving-
force of politics. But in examining realities as a prerequisite to acting upon
the realities, we put aside all pre-conceptions whatever.
Thus — Protection and Obedience. This organic law is again

a description of an existential reality. Without the relationship of protection

in one place and obedience in another, there is no politics. Every political
organism exhibits it, and the extent of protection and obedience describes
the territorial frontiers of the organism. Wherever a power is under the
protection of another power, the two are one for external political purposes.
Whatever apparent anomalies have existed disappear as soon as political
tension in the area in question heightens. Looking at the organism inwardly,
the amount of protection and the amount of obedience, and the quality of
these things, describes the inner strength of the unit. A high degree of
protection and a high degree of obedience constitute an integrated organism
that can stand the test of politics. Such an organism can often prevail against
great odds. A low degree of the protection-obedience relationship describes
a unit that is inwardly weak. It cannot stand a real hard struggle, and will
often succumb in a test even to an organism with fewer material means and
Thus when in the 20th century an organism dare not conscript a
population within its area, such an area is one of inner weakness; and cannot
be counted part of the political body. Such a situation can only continue as
long as such an area is not the focus of political tension. The law also
describes the geographical extent of a political unit. Where protection and
obedience stop, there are the actual frontiers.
Once more the words protection and obedience have also been used
with an entire absence of any moral content. Thus “protection” can mean
unlimited terror by military means, and “obedience” may be a reflection of
the alternative of the concentration camp. The condition of occupied Europe
under extra-European armies is protection within the meaning of this organic
law. Even though these extra-European armies are

starving and torturing the populace, nevertheless they are protecting that part
of Europe from incorporation by another political unit. America protects its
half from Russia and Russia protects its half from America. Thus the word
is neutral vis-à-vis the disjunction of altruism-egoism. Protection is not
kindliness, it is acquisition of power. Obedience is not gratitude, it is
political submission from whatever motive.
Where the protecting force is within a Culture and the area and
populace protected also belong to the Culture, the obedience will be full,
natural and voluntary, on the part of the Culture-bearing stratum at least
when the issue is the existence of the Culture.
This Law describes Western feudalism, for instance. Feudalism is the
strongest political system that can arise. It is integrated inwardly and
outwardly. It is the system where political activity is within a self-evident
cadre of forms. It is an Internationale in the only true sense of the word; it is
a phenomenon of equal validity in the whole Culture. In our case, it was the
form and vessel of all Western happenings for 300 years. The basic
formulation of the feudal Idea is nothing but Protection and Obedience.
Protectorates such as Western international law recognizes are
examples of the law. It also describes any federal units that arise. The
central government is the only political one, for it protects and thus receives
political obedience.
The existential nature of the Law is also shown by the fact that if a
State is unable to protect an area and population within its system, that area
and population will pass into the system of another State that can protect and
has the will to protect. The passing may be by revolt, it may be by war. It
may be by negotiation, particularly if the protecting State allows a quasi-
government to exist in the protected area, which can make a private

understanding with other powers to deliver to them the population and

territory. This shows incidentally the danger of carrying fictions too far in
politics. To boast too loudly that vassals are not vassals may be to transfer
them to another allegiance. Similarly to describe one’s fortresses as
impregnable is dangerous; this will never convince a resolute State of equal
rank, but may convince their owner.
A more inclusive way of saying this is that in an Age of Absolute
Politics political appearances should correspond to political reality. In the
century of economico-moral cant, mastery consisted in maintaining an
elaborate pretense of freedom, and simultaneously therewith a rigid
condition of servitude. This sort of thing becomes both impracticable and
disgusting in this Age which will embrace the two next centuries.
Impracticable because the danger constantly exists of deceiving only one’s
self, and not the political enemy. Disgusting because the more robust forces
of this Age scorn sly deceits and veiled formulae for the fact of political
In a country where the cant of morality exercises a monopoly over
political vocabulary, politicians cannot speak openly even to one another.
The propaganda terror necessary to maintain such an absurd type of political
terminology in contradiction to facts ends by weakening from within
governments in such countries. Anyone making a purely factual remark
becomes suspect, and some of the best brains have found their way thus into
the concentration camps.


It has been seen that the world of politics is a pluriverse. This organic
fact has within it fatal consequences for the league of nations type of
ideologist, and upon it his schemes founder. Neither of the two “leagues of
nations” which were established by extra-European forces after the first two
World Wars were international organizations, but merely interstate
organizations. The English language does not permit of the clarity of the
distinction with the same self-evidence as the German language. German
“zwischenstaatlich” means occurring between States, as self-contained
impenetrable units; “international” in German means occurring inside of
both States, and passing through the State frontiers in every sense. Thus
Macedonian terrorism in the 19th and 20th centuries was truly international,
but it was not interstate. If the populations of the various States of the world
were represented in a “league of nations” quite independently of their
various States, and if the States had no standing in it whatever, it could then
possibly be called an international organization. When the sole membership
is of States,

then the organization is merely “zwischenstaatlich,” or in English,

The importance of the distinction is that an interstate organization
presupposes States. If they are true States and not States merely in name,
they are described by the laws of Sovereignty and Totality. And in truth in
both leagues at least some of the members were true States in this sense. In
the first league, there were at various times five, six or seven such States. In
the second league there were only two. But as long as there are two, such a
league is merely an arena for the conduct of interstate politics.
An Internationale, provided it comes from the soul of the Culture, has
the possibility of absorbing all States into it, provided it is an idea embracing
life totally, i.e., a Cultural idea, and not merely a political scheme — and
above all not a mere abstraction of some kind, an ideal — and feudalism was
such an Internationale. Needless to say the various class-war revolutionary
“internationales” were not this, for they had their origin purely in politics,
and were purely negative. A Cultural Idea cannot be negative; such an Idea
is not made by men, but comes from the development of the Culture, and
represents an organic necessity of the higher organism. The phrase Spirit of
the Age is transferable with the phrase Culture-idea. Both are superpersonal,
and the most that a man can do is to formulate the Idea, try to actualize it, or
try to strangle and distort it. Change it, or destroy it, he cannot.
An Internationale representing a Culture-idea is of course supra-
national as well as international in the true sense, for nations are creations of
the High Culture. Only such an Internationale could absorb States into it —
and then only the States within the Culture. The idea would naturally have
no inner effect on populations and areas outside its organic body. Thus no
Western Internationale could inwardly touch China, India,

Japan, Islam or Russia. Their reaction to such an Internationale, provided

they were affected by its external effects would of necessity be purely
negative. If such an Internationale were to constitute the West as a unit also
for political purposes — and the outer world has quite correctly always
regarded the West as a unit for all other purposes — it would tend to create
an anti-Western unity among the areas and populations outside. This would
be only because the Western Civilization — the first one to do so — has
made the whole world into its sphere of activity. For the first time in the
history of the High Cultures, a Culture-political system embraced the entire
world. For the politics of the extra-European forces is also in its depths
motivated by the historically omnipotent force of our Western Civilization,
in this way, that extra-European forces only derive their unity from the fact
that they are a negation of Europe. If there were no Europe, Russia would
merely be the scene of nomadic groups wandering with their herds, and
engaging in small-scale inter-tribal warfare. Similarly, the famous “Chinese
Revolution” of 1911 was a mere echo-phenomenon of Western currents, and
its whole significance is that it had an anti-Western effect in the area the
West calls China.
A true Internationale acts directly upon the entire Culture-area and all
the populations in it. Capitalism was such a true Internationale — it was an
expression of the Spirit of the Age. England was the vessel chosen by the
Culture to actualize this idea, and England remained the spiritual home of
Capitalism. The other nations were forced to orient their lives to this idea —
which was also a world-outlook more than a system of economics. They
could either affirm it, or negate it. This choice existed only because the
Spirit of the Age also contained political nationalism, and thus Capitalism,
belonging as it did to one nation, did not and never could have amalgamated
all the

Western nations into one nation. Political nationalism was moribund even
before the First World War, and thereafter the practice of political
nationalism was simply Culture-distortion — every nation of the West was
injured by it individually, and all of them collectively.
The Internationale of our times appears in a time when the Spirit of
the Age has outgrown political nationalism. The Age of Absolute Politics
will not tolerate petty-Stateism. The whole world is the spoils in this
gigantic political age, and obviously tiny units, like the various former States
of Europe, with a few tens of thousands of quadrate kilometers, with a few
tens of millions of population cannot engage in a political struggle in a world
filled with a population of 2,000,000,000 of human beings. The smallest
possible unit that could even begin to participate in this world-struggle
would have to have an area the size of Europe and hither Russia. Any
struggle preliminary to this is local.
The two “leagues of nations” were merely interstate phenomena, thus
pre-supposed States, thus were not themselves political units, thus could not
engage in politics, thus did not exist as political realities. The Laws of
Sovereignty and Totality, formulated herein, described the member-States of
the leagues, but not the leagues themselves. Liberals and rationalists,
moralists and logicians adrift in the world of facts, were not dismayed by the
situation presented. They said that all that was necessary was to transfer
sovereignty — mere legal sovereignty, for they knew nothing, and can know
nothing, of the Organic Law of Sovereignty — from the member-States to
the league itself. They thought that “sovereignty” was a word written down
on a piece of paper, and was thus, according to the calculus of symbolic
logic, manipulable at will. Sovereignty however, happens to be an
existential characteristic of a political

organism, and these organisms are not subject to human control, but, on the
contrary, control the human beings in their areas politically. This is a fact
and thus exists on a different plane from logic, a plane which can never
possibly intersect that of logic. Logic deals with one phase of Culture-man,
his intellect, and that only. It can only dissect, analyze, conduct spiritual
post-mortems. Thus it cannot act, for action is creation. Politics in this light
resembles art more than it does logic. Logic is light, politics is chiaroscuro;
logic is cameo, politics is intaglio; logic is rigid, politics fluid. Creation is of
the whole soul, and logic is only one product of a small part of the soul.
Nonsense in logic may be sound politics; nonsense in politics may be sound
logic. Culture-political ideas precede reality; intellectual ideals bark at the
heels of reality.
The basic idea of the leagues of nations was to abolish war and
politics. To provide a meeting place for war-political units could hardly do
it, and consequently these meeting places had no political significance,
which continued to reside in the capitals.
We have seen that a world with one State is organic nonsense, since a
State is a unit of opposition. But some of the intellectuals wanted a world
with no States whatever, singular or plural. They spoke of “humanity,” and
wished to unite it for the purpose of abolishing politics by politics, war by
war. They were thus affirming war and politics, but this remained hidden
from them. The name “humanity” became thus a polemical word — it
described everyone except the enemy. This was of course nothing new, for
this overworked word had appeared as a political word in the 18th century,
when it was used by the intellectuals and equality-ideologues to describe
everyone, except the nobility and clergy. It thus dehumanized the nobility
and clergy and when power came into the hands of the intellectuals,

in the French Terror of 1793, they showed that they considered their enemies
subject to inhuman treatment because they did not belong to “humanity.”
Again, politics and logic separate out: humanity in logic means inhumanity
in politics.
But yet the word humanity excludes no one, semantically speaking.
The enemy is also human. Therefore humanity can have no enemy, and the
“one State” liberals and the “humanity” intellectuals were involved in the
very sort of thing they wished to abolish — politics and war. “Humanity”
was not a peace word, but a war slogan. The “one State” remained in the
world of dreams. Politics remained in the world and turned all of these anti-
political things to its own use.
What would be a world without politics? Nowhere would there be
protection or obedience, there would be no aristocracy, no democracy, no
empire, no fatherland, no patriotism, no frontiers, no customs, no rulers, no
political assemblies, no superiors, no subordinates.
For this world to come about or to continue to exist, there would have
to be a total absence of men with lust for adventure and domination. No
will-to-power, no barbarian instincts, no criminals, no superiority feelings,
no Messianic ideas, no unpeaceable men, no programs of action, no
proselyting, no ambition, no economics above the personal level, no
foreigners, no race, no ideas.
We come to the fundamental disjunction between political thinking
and mere thinking about politics. All intellectualistic thinking about politics
posits a certain great non-existent characteristic of human nature.

The Two Political Anthropologies

The touchstone of any political theory whatever is its attitude to the

fundamental ethical quality of human nature. From this standpoint there are
only two kinds: those which posit a “naturally good” human nature, and
those which see human nature as it is on the other hand. Good has meant
reasonable, perfectible, peaceful, educable, desiring to improve, and various
other things.
Every Rationalistic political or State theory regards man as “good” by
nature. The Encyclopedists, the Illuminati and the devotees of Baron
Holbach’s philosophy were all symptomatic of the advent of Rationalism in
the 18th century. All talked of “the essential goodness of human nature.”
Rousseau was the most forceful and radical of 18th century writers in this
respect. Voltaire set himself apart by denying totally this essential goodness
of human nature.
It is curious that a theory of politics could ever possibly ground itself
on such an assumption, since politics actualizes itself only in the form of the
friend-enemy disjunction. Thus a

theory of hostility assumes that human nature is essentially peaceable and

The middle of the 18th century is the beginning of the word
liberalism, and of the idea-complex liberalism. Since human nature is
basically good, there is no need to be strict with it, one can be “liberal.”
This idea was derived from the English Sensualist philosophers. The Social
Contract theory of Rousseau originated with the Englishman Locke in the
previous century. All Liberalism predicates a sensualistic, materialistic
philosophy. Such philosophies are rationalistic in tendency, and Liberalism
is simply one variety of politically applied rationalism.
The leading 17th century political thinkers, like Hobbes and
Pufendorff, looked upon the condition of “nature,” in which States existed,
as one of continual danger and risk, in which those engaged in action were
driven by all the instincts and impulses of the beasts — hunger, fear,
jealousy, rivalries of all kinds, desire. Hobbes observed that true enmity is
possible only between men, that the friend-enemy disjunction is as much
deeper between men than between animals as the world of men is spiritually
above the world of the beasts.
The two political anthropologies are illustrated in the story, found in
Carlyle, of the conversation between Frederick the Great and Sulzer, in
which Sulzer was explaining the new discovery of Rationalism that human
nature was essentially good. Ach, mein lieber Salzer, Ihr kennt nicht diese
verdammte Rasse, said Friedrich — “You don’t know this damned race.”
The assumption of the goodness of human nature developed two main
branches of theory. Anarchism is the result of radical acceptance of this
assumption. Liberalism uses the assumption merely to weaken the State and
make it subservient to “society.” Thomas Paine, an early Liberal, expressed
the idea in a formula that remains valid for Liberalism to-day: Society is the
result of

our reasonably regulated needs; the State is the result of our vices.
Anarchism is the more radical in proportion to the completeness of its
acceptance of the human goodness assumption.
The idea of “balance of power,” a technic of weakening the State, is
Liberal throughout. By this means the State is to be rendered subject to
economics. It cannot be called a State theory, for it is a mere negative. It
does not deny the State completely, but wants it decentralized and
weakened. It does not want the State to be the center of gravity of the
political organism. It prefers to think of the organism as “society,” a loose
grouping of free and independent groups and individuals, whose freedom
finds its sole limitation with the customary criminal law. Thus Liberalism
has no objection to individuals being more powerful than the State, being
above the law. What Liberalism dislikes is authority. The State, as the
grandest symbol of authority, is hated. The two noble orders, as the symbols
of authority, are likewise hated.
Anarchism, the radical denial of the State, and of all organization
whatever, is an idea of genuine political force. It is anti-political in its
theory, but by its intensity it is political in the only way that politics can
manifest itself, i.e., it can bring men into its service and range them against
others as enemies. During the 19th century, anarchism was a force to be
reckoned with, although it was nearly always allied with some other
movement. Particularly in 19th and early 20th century Russia was
anarchism a powerful political reality. It was known there as Nihilism. The
local strength of anarchism in Russia was owing to its coincidental
attractiveness for the tremendous anti-Western feeling under the thin Petrine
crust. To be anti-Western was to be against everything, therefore anti-
Western Asiatic negativism adopted the Western theory of Anarchism as its
vehicle of expression.

Liberalism, however, with its compromising, vague attitude, incapable

of precise formulation, incapable also of rousing precise feelings, either
affirmative or negative, is not an idea of political force. Its numerous
devotees, in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries have taken part in practical
politics only as the ally of other groups. It could not create an issue; it could
not line up men as friends or enemies; therefore it was not a political idea,
but only an idea about politics. Its followers had to be for or against other
ideas as a means of expressing their Liberalism.
Anarchism was able to rouse men to sacrifice of life, not so
Liberalism. It is one thing to die to wipe out all order, all State; it is quite
another to die in order to bring about a decentralization of State power.
Liberalism is in essence nonpolitical; it is outside of politics. It would like
to have politics serve as the handmaid of economics and society.


Liberalism is a most important by-product of Rationalism, and its

origins and ideology must be clearly shown.
The “Enlightenment” period of Western history which set in after the
Counter-Reformation laid more and more stress on intellect, reason and
logic as it developed. By the middle of the 18th century this tendency
produced Rationalism. Rationalism regarded all spiritual values as its
objects and proceeded to revalue them from the standpoint of “reason.”
Inorganic logic is the faculty men have always used for solving problems of
mathematics, engineering, transportation, physics and in other non-valuing
situations. Its insistence on identity and rejection of contradiction are
practicable in material activity. They afford intellectual satisfaction also in
matters of purely abstract thought, like mathematics and logic, but if pursued
far enough they turn into mere techniques, simple assumptions whose only
justification is empirical. The end of Rationalism is Pragmatism, the suicide
of Reason.
This adaptation of reason to material problems causes all problems
whatever to become mechanical when surveyed in

“the light of reason,” without any mystical admixture of thought or tendency

whatever. Descartes reasoned the animals into automata, and a generation or
so later, man himself was rationalized into an automaton — or equally, an
animal. Organisms became problems in chemistry and physics, and
superpersonal organism simply no longer existed, for they are not amenable
to reason, not being visible or measurable. Newton provided the universe of
stars with a non-spiritual self-regulating force; the next century removed the
spirit from man, his history and his affairs.
Reason detests the inexplicable, the mysterious, the half-light. In a
practical problem in machinery or ship-building one must feel that all the
factors are under his knowledge and control. There must be nothing
unpredictable or out of control. Rationalism, which is the feeling that
everything is subject to and completely explicable by Reason, consequently
rejects everything not visible and calculable. If a thing actually cannot be
calculated, Reason merely says that the factors are so numerous and
complicated that in a purely practical way they render the calculation
unfeasible, but do not make it theoretically impossible. Thus Reason also
has its Will-to-Power: whatever does not submit is pronounced recalcitrant,
or is simply denied existence.
When it turned its gaze to History, Rationalism saw the whole
tendency as one toward Reason. Man was “emerging” during all those
millennia, he was “progressing” from barbarism and fanaticism to
enlightenment, from “superstition” to “science,” from violence to “reason,”
from dogma to criticism, from darkness to light. No more invisible things,
no more spirit, no more soul, no more God, no more Church and State. The
two poles of thought are “the individual” and “humanity.” Anything
separating them is “irrational.”

This branding of things as irrational is in fact correct. Rationalism

must mechanize everything, and whatever cannot be mechanized is of
necessity irrational. Thus the entirety of History becomes irrational: its
chronicles, its processes, its secret force, Destiny. Rationalism itself, as a
by-product of a certain stage in the development of a High Culture, is also
irrational. Why Rationalism follows one spiritual phase, why it exercises its
brief sway, why it vanishes once more into religion — these questions are
historical, thus irrational.
Liberalism is Rationalism in politics. It rejects the State as an
organism, and can only see it as the result of a contract between individuals.
The purpose of Life has nothing to do with States, for they have no
independent existence. Thus the “happiness” of “the individual” becomes
the purpose of Life. Bentham made this as coarse as it could be
made in collectivizing it into “the greatest happiness of the greatest
number.” If herding-animals could talk, they would use this slogan against
the wolves. To most humans, who are the mere material of History, and not
actors in it, “happiness” means economic wellbeing. Reason is quantitative,
not qualitative, and thus makes the average man into “ Man. ” “Man” is a
thing of food, clothing, shelter, social and family life, and leisure. Politics
sometimes demands sacrifice of life for invisible things. This is against
“happiness,” and must not be. Economics, however, is not against
“happiness,” but is almost co-extensive with it. Religion and Church wish to
interpret the whole of Life on the basis of invisible things, and so militate
against “happiness.” Social ethics, on the other hand, secure economic
order, thus promote “happiness. “
Here Liberalism found its two poles of thought: economics and ethics.
They correspond to individual and humanity. The ethics of course is purely
social, materialistic; if older ethics is

retained, its former metaphysical foundation is forgotten, and it is

promulgated as a social, and not a religious, imperative. Ethics is necessary
to maintain the order necessary as a framework for economic activity.
Within that framework, however, “the individual” must be “free.” This is
the great cry of Liberalism, “freedom.” Man is only himself, and is not tied
to anything except by choice. Thus “society” is the “free” association of
men and groups. The State, however, is un-freedom, compulsion, violence.
The Church is spiritual un-freedom.
All things in the political domain were transvalued by Liberalism.
War was transformed into either competition, seen from the economic pole,
or ideological difference, seen from the ethical pole. Instead of the mystical
rhythmical alternation of war and peace, it sees only the perpetual
concurrence of competition or ideological contrast, which in no case
becomes hostile or bloody. The State becomes society or humanity on the
ethical side, a production and trade system on the economic side. The will to
accomplish a political aim is transformed into the making of a program of
“social ideals” on the ethical side, of calculation on the economic side.
Power becomes propaganda, ethically speaking, and regulation,
economically speaking.
The purest expression of the doctrine of Liberalism was probably that
of Benjamin Constant. In 1814 he set forth his views on the “progress” of
“man.” He looked upon the 18th century Enlightenment with its
intellectualistic-humanitarian cast as merely preliminary to the true
liberation, that of the 19th century. Economics, industrialism, and technics
represented the means of “freedom.” Rationalism was the natural ally of this
trend. Feudalism, Reaction, War, Violence, State, Politics, Authority — all
were overcome by the new idea, supplanted by Reason, Economics,
Freedom, Progress and Parliamentarism.

War, being violent and brutal, was unreasonable, and is replaced by Trade,
which is intelligent and civilized. War is condemned from every standpoint:
economically it is a loss even to the victor. The new war technics —
artillery — made personal heroism senseless, and thus the charm and glory
of war departed with its economic usefulness. In earlier times, war-peoples
had subjugated trading-peoples, but no longer. Now trading-peoples step
out as the masters of the earth.
A moment’s reflection shows that Liberalism is entirely negative. It is
not a formative force, but always and only a disintegrating force. It wishes
to depose the twin authorities of Church and State, substituting for them
economic freedom and social ethics. It happens that organic realities do not
permit of more than the two alternatives: the organism can be true to itself,
or it becomes sick and distorted, a prey for other organisms. Thus the
natural polarity of leaders and led cannot be abolished without annihilating
the organism. Liberalism was never entirely successful in its fight against
the State, despite the fact that it engaged in political activity throughout the
19th century in alliance with every other type of State-disintegrating force.
Thus there were National-Liberals, Social-Liberals, Free-Conservatives,
Liberal-Catholics. They allied themselves with democracy, which is not
Liberal, but irresistibly authoritarian in success. They sympathized with
Anarchists when the forces of Authority sought to defend themselves against
them. In the 20th century, Liberalism joined Bolshevism in Spain, and
European and American Liberals sympathized with Russian Bolsheviks.
Liberalism can only be defined negatively. It is a mere critique, not a
living idea. Its great word “freedom” is a negative it means in fact, freedom
from authority, i.e., disintegration of the organism. In its last stages it
produces social

atomism, in which not only the authority of the State is combated, but even
the authority of society and the family. Divorce takes equal rank with
marriage, children with parents. This constant thinking in negatives caused
political activists like Marx, Lorenz v. Stein and Ferdinand Lasalle to
despair of it as a political vehicle. Its attitudes were always contradictory, it
sought always a compromise. It sought always to “balance” democracy
against monarchy, managers against hand-workers, State against Society,
legislative against judicial. In a crisis, Liberalism as such was not to be
found. Liberals found their way on to one or the other side of a
revolutionary struggle, depending on the consistency of their Liberalism, and
its degree of hostility to authority.
Thus Liberalism in action was just as political as any State ever was.
It obeyed organic necessity by its political alliances with non-Liberal groups
and ideas. Despite its theory of individualism, which of course would
preclude the possibility that one man or group could call upon another man
or group for the sacrifice or risk of life, it supported “unfree” ideas like
Democracy, Socialism, Bolshevism, Anarchism, all of which demand life-


From its anthropology of the basic goodness of human nature in

general, Rationalism produced 18th century Encyclopedism, Freemasonry,
Democracy, and Anarchism, as well as Liberalism, each with its offshoots
and variations. Each played its part in the history of the 19th century, and,
owing to the critical distortion of the whole Western Civilization entailed by
the first two World Wars, even in the 20th century, where Rationalism is
grotesquely out of place, and slowly transformed itself into

Irrationalism. The corpse of Liberalism was not even interred by the middle
of the 20th century. Consequently it is necessary to diagnose even now the
serious illness of the Western Civilization as Liberalism complicated with
Because Liberalism views most men as harmonious, or good, it
follows that they should be allowed to do as they like. Since there is no
higher unit to which all are tied, and whose superpersonal life dominates the
lives of the individuals, each field of human activity serves only itself — as
long as it does not wish to become authoritative, and stays within the
framework of “society.” Thus Art becomes “Art for Art’s sake,” l’art pour
l’art. All areas of thought and action become equally autonomous. Religion
becomes mere social discipline, since to be more is to assume authority.
Science, philosophy, education, all are equally worlds unto themselves.
None are subject to anything higher. Literature and technics are entitled to
the same autonomy. The function of the State is merely to protect them by
patents and copyrights. But above all — economics and law are independent
of organic authority, i.e., of politics.
Twenty-first century readers will find it difficult to believe that once
the idea prevailed that each person should be free to do as he pleased in
economic matters, even if his personal activity involved the starvation of
hundreds of thousands, the devastation of entire forest and mineral areas,
and the stunting of the power of the organism; that it was quite permissible
for such an individual to raise himself above the weakened public authority,
and to dominate, by private means, the inmost thoughts of whole populations
by his control of press, radio and mechanized drama.
They will find it more difficult yet to understand how such a person
could go to the law to enforce his destructive will. Thus a usurer could, even
in the middle of the 20th century,

invoke successfully the assistance of the law in dispossessing any numbers

of peasants and farmers. It is hard to imagine how an individual could injure
the political organism more than by thus mobilizing the soil into dust, in the
phrase of the great Freiherr von Stein.
But — this followed inevitably from the idea of the independence of
economics and law from political authority. There is nothing higher, no
State; it is only individuals against one another. It is but natural that the
economically more astute individuals accumulate most of the mobile wealth
into their hands. They do not however, if they are true Liberals, want
authority with this wealth, for authority has two aspects: power, and
responsibility. Individualism, psychologically speaking, is egoism.
“Happiness” = selfishness. Rousseau, the grandfather of Liberalism, was a
true individualist, and sent his five children to the foundling hospital.
Law, as a field of human thought and endeavor, has as much
independence, and as much dependence as every other field. Within the
organic framework, it is free to think and organize its material. But like
other forms of thought, it can be enrolled in the service of outside ideas.
Thus law, originally the means of codifying and maintaining the inner peace
of the organism by keeping order and preventing private disputes from
growing, was transmuted by Liberal thought into a means of keeping inner
disorder, and allowing economically strong individuals to liquidate the
weaker ones. This was called the “rule of law,” the “law-State,”
“independence of the judiciary.” The idea of bringing in the law to make a
given state of affairs sacrosanct was not original with Liberalism. Back in
Hobbes’s day, other groups were trying it, but the incorruptible mind of
Hobbes said with the most precise clarity that the rule of law means the rule
of those who determine and administer the law,

that the rule of a “higher order” is an empty phrase, and is only given
content by the concrete rule of given men and groups over a lower order.
This was political thinking, which is directed to the distribution and
movement of power. It is also politics to expose the hypocrisy, immorality
and cynicism of the usurer who loudly demands the rule of law, which
means riches to him and poverty to millions of others, and all in the name of
something higher, something with supra-human validity. When Authority
resurges once more against the forces of Rationalism and Economics, it
proceeds at once to show that the complex of transcendental ideals with
which Liberalism equipped itself is as valid as the Legitimism of the era of
Absolute Monarchy, and no more. The Monarchs were the strongest
protagonists of Legitimism, the financiers of Liberalism. But the monarch
was tied to the organism with his whole existence, he was responsible
organically even where he was not responsible in fact. Thus Louis XVI and
Charles I. Countless other monarchs and absolute rulers have had to flee
because of their symbolic responsibility. But the financier has only power,
no responsibility, not even symbolic, for, as often as not, his name is not
generally known. History, Destiny, organic continuity, Fame, all exert their
powerful influence on an absolute political ruler, and in addition his position
places him entirely outside the sphere of base corruptibility. The financier,
however, is private, anonymous, purely economic, irresponsible. In nothing
can he be altruistic; his very existence is the apotheosis of egoism. He does
not think of History, of Fame, of the furtherance of the life of the organism,
of Destiny, and furthermore he is eminently corruptible by base means, as
his ruling desire is for money and ever more money.
In his contest against Authority the finance-Liberal evolved

a theory that power corrupts men. It is, however, vast anonymous wealth
which corrupts, since there are no superpersonal restraints on it, such as
bring the true statesman completely into the service of the political
organism, and place him above corruption.
It was precisely in the fields of economics and law that the Liberal
doctrine had the most destructive effects on the health of the Western
Civilization. It did not matter much that esthetics became independent, for
the only art-form in the West which still had a future, Western Music, paid
no attention to theories and continued on its grand creative course to its end
in Wagner and his epigones. Baudelaire is the great symbol of l’art pour
l’art: sickness as beauty. Baudelaire is thus Liberalism in literature, disease
as a principle of Life, crisis as health, morbidity as soul-life, disintegration
as purpose. Man as individualist, an atom without connections, the Liberal
ideal of personality. It was in fields of action rather than of thought that the
injury was greatest.
Allowing the initiative in economic and technical matters to rest with
individuals, subject to little political control, resulted in the creation of a
group of individuals whose personal wills were more important than the
collective destiny of the organism and the millions of the population. The
law which served this state of affairs was completely divorced from morality
and honor. To disintegrate the organism from the spiritual side, what
morality was recognized was divorced from metaphysics and religion, and
related only to “society.” The criminal law reflected finance-Liberalism by
punishing crimes of violence and passion, but not classifying such things as
destroying national resources, throwing millions into want, or usury on a
national scale.
The independence of the economic sphere was a tenet of

faith with Liberalism. This was not subject to discussion. There was even
evolved an abstraction named “economic man,” whose actions could be
predicted as though economics were a vacuum. Economic gain was his sole
motive, greed alone spurred him on. The technic of success was to
concentrate on one’s own gain and ignore everything else. This “economic
man” was however man in general to the Liberals. He was the unit of their
world-picture. “Humanity” was the sum total of these economic grains of


The type of mind which believes in the essential “goodness” of human

nature attained to Liberalism. But there is another political anthropology,
one which recognizes that man is disharmonious, problematical, dual,
dangerous. This is the general wisdom of mankind, and is reflected by the
number of guards, fences, safes, locks, jails and policemen. Every
catastrophe, fire, earthquake, volcanic eruption, flood, evokes looting. Even
a police strike in an American city was the signal for looting of the shops by
the respectable and good human beings.
Thus this type of thought starts from facts. This is political thinking
in general, as opposed to mere thinking about politics, rationalizing. Even
the wave of Rationalism did not submerge this kind of thinking. Political
thinkers differ greatly in creativeness and depth, but they agree that facts are
normative. The very word theory has been brought into disrepute by
intellectuals and Liberals who use it to describe their pet view of how they
would like things to be. Originally theory was explanation of facts. To an
intellectual who is adrift in politics, a theory is an aim; to a true politician his
theory is a boundary.
A political theory seeks to find from history the limits of the

politically possible. These limits cannot be found in the domain of Reason.

The Age of Reason was born in bloodshed, and will pass out of vogue in
more bloodshed. With its doctrine against war, politics, and violence, it
presided over the greatest wars and revolutions in 5,000 years, and it ushered
in the Age of Absolute Politics. With its gospel of the Brotherhood of Man,
it carried on the largest-scale starvation, humiliation, torture and
extermination in history against populations within the Western Civilization
after the first two World Wars. By outlawing political thinking, and turning
war into a moral-struggle instead of a power-struggle it flung the chivalry
and honor of a millennium into the dust. The conclusion is compelling that
Reason also became political when it entered politics, even though it used its
own vocabulary. When Reason stripped territory from a conquered foe after
a war, it called it “disannexation.” The document consolidating the new
position was called a “Treaty,” even though it was dictated in the middle of a
starvation-blockade. The defeated political enemy had to admit in the
“Treaty” that he was “guilty” of the war, that he is morally unfit to have
colonies, that his soldiers alone committed “war crimes.” But no matter how
heavy the moral disguise, how consistent the ideological vocabulary, it is
only politics, and the Age of Absolute Politics reverts once again to the type
of political thinking which starts from facts, recognizes power and the will-
to-power of men and higher organisms as facts, and finds any attempt to
describe politics in terms of morals as grotesque as it would be to describe
chemistry in terms of theology.
There is a whole tradition of political thinking in the Western Culture,
of which some of the leading representatives are Montaigne, Macchiavelli,
Hobbes, Leibnitz, Bossuet, Fichte, de Maistre, Donoso Cortes, Hippolyte
Taine, Hegel, Carlyle.

While Herbert Spencer was describing history as the “progress” from

military-feudal to commercial-industrial organization, Carlyle was showing
to England the Prussian spirit of Ethical Socialism, whose inner superiority
would exert on the whole Western Civilization in the coming Political Age
an equally fundamental transformation as had Capitalism in the Economic
Age. This was creative political thinking, but was unfortunately not
understood, and the resulting ignorance allowed distorting influences to fling
England into two senseless World Wars from which it emerged with almost
everything lost.
Hegel posited a three-stage development of mankind from the natural
community through the bourgeois community to the State. His State-theory
is thoroughly organic, and his definition of the bourgeois is quite appropriate
for the 20th century. To him the bourgeois is the man who does not wish to
leave the sphere of internal political security, who sets himself up, with his
sanctified private property, as an individual against the whole, who finds a
substitute for his political nullity in the fruits of peace and possessions and
perfect security in his enjoyment of them, who therefore wishes to dispense
with courage and remain secure from the possibility of violent death. He
described the true Liberal with these words.
The political thinkers mentioned do not enjoy popularity with the
great masses of human beings. As long as things are going well, most
people do not wish to hear talk of power-struggles, violence, wars, or
theories relating to them. Thus in the 18th and 19th centuries was developed
the attitude that political thinkers — and Macchiavelli was the prime victim
— were wicked men, atavistic, bloodthirsty. The simple statement that wars
would always continue was sufficient to put the speaker down as a person
who wanted wars to continue. To draw attention to the vast, impersonal
rhythm of war and peace

showed a sick mind with moral deficiency and emotional taint. To describe
facts was held to be wishing them and creating them. As late as the 20th
century, anyone pointing out the political nullity of the “leagues of nations”
was a prophet of despair. Rationalism is anti-historical; political thinking is
applied history. In peace it is unpopular to mention war, in war it is
unpopular to mention peace. The theory which becomes most quickly
popular is one which praises existing things and the tendency they
supposedly illustrate as obviously the best order, and as preordained by all
foregoing history. Thus Hegel was anathema to the intellectuals because of
his State-orientation, which made him a “reactionary,” and also because he
refused to join the revolutionary crowd.
Since most people wish to hear only soporific talk about politics, and
not demanding calls to action, and since in democratic conditions it matters
to political technics what most people wish to hear, democratic politicians
evolved in the 19th century a whole dialectic of party-politics. The idea was
to examine the held of action from a “disinterested” standpoint, moral,
scientific, or economic, and to kind that the opponent was immoral,
unscientific, uneconomic — in fact — he was political. This was
devilishness that must be combated. One’s own standpoint was entirely
“non-political.” Politics was a word of reproach in the Economic Age.
Curiously however, in certain situations, usually those involving foreign
relations, “unpolitical” could also be a term of abuse, meaning the man so
described lacked skill in negotiating. The party-politician also had to feign
unwillingness to accept office. Finally a demonstration of carefully arranged
“popular will” broke down his reluctance, and he consented to “serve.” This
was described as Macchiavellism, but obviously Macchiavelli was a political
thinker, and not a camouflageur. A book by a party-politician

does not read like The Prince, but praises the entire human race, except
certain perverse people, the author’s opponents.
Actually Machiavelli’s book is defensive in tone, justifying politically
the conduct of certain statesmen by giving examples drawn from foreign
invasions of Italy. During Macchiavelli’s century, Italy was invaded at
different times by Frenchmen, Germans, Spaniards and Turks. When the
French Revolutionary Armies occupied Prussia, and coupled humanitarian
sentiments of the Rights of Man with brutality and large-scale looting, Hegel
and Fichte restored Macchiavelli once again to respect as a thinker. He
represented a means of defense against a foe armed with a humanitarian
ideology. Macchiavelli showed the actual role played by verbal sentiments
in politics.
One can say that there are three possible attitudes toward human
conduct, from the point of evaluating its motives: the sentimental, the
realistic, and the cynical. The sentimental imputes a good motive to
everybody, the cynical a bad motive, and the realistic simply seeks the facts.
When a sentimentalist, e.g., a Liberal, enters politics, he becomes perforce a
hypocrite. The ultimate exposure of this hypocrisy creates cynicism. Part of
the spiritual sickness following the First World War was a wave of cynicism
which arose from the transparent, revolting, and incredible hypocrisy of the
little men who were presiding over affairs at that time. Macchiavelli had
however an incorruptible intellect and did not write in a cynical spirit. He
sought to portray the anatomy of politics with its peculiar problems and
tensions, inner and outer. To the fantastic mental illness of Rationalism,
hard facts are regrettable things, and to talk about them is to create them. A
tiny politician of the Liberal type even sought to prevent talk about the Third
World War, after the Second. Liberalism is, in one word, weakness. It
wants every day to be a birthday, Life to be a long party.

The inexorable movement of Time, Destiny, History, the cruelty of

accomplishment, sternness, heroism, sacrifice, superpersonal ideas — these
are the enemy. Liberalism is an escape from hardness into softness, from
masculinity into femininity, from History to herd-grazing, from reality into
herbivorous dreams, from Destiny into Happiness. Nietzsche, in his last and
greatest work, designated the 18th century as the century of feminism, and
immediately mentioned Rousseau, the leader of the mass-escape from
Reality. Feminism itself — what is it but a means of feminizing man? If it
makes women man-like, it does so only by transforming man first into a
creature whose only concern is with his personal economics and his relation
to “society,” i.e., a woman. “Society” is the element of woman, it is static
and formal, its contests are purely personal, and are free from the possibility
of heroism and violence. Conversation, not action; formality, not deeds.
How different is the idea of rank used in connection with a social affair,
from when it is applied on a battlefield! In the field, it is fate-laden; in the
salon it is vain and pompous. A war is fought for control, social contests are
inspired by feminine vanity and jealousy to show that one is “better” than
someone else.
And yet what does Liberalism do ultimately to woman: it puts a
uniform on her and calls her a “soldier.” This ridiculous performance but
illustrates the eternal fact that History is masculine, that its stern demands
cannot be evaded, that the fundamental realities cannot be renounced, even,
by the most elaborate make-believe. Liberalistic tampering with sexual
polarity only wreaks havoc on the souls of individuals, confusing and
distorting them, but the man-woman and the woman-man it creates are both
subject to the higher Destiny of History.


Another important by-product of Rationalism is Democracy. The

word has many meanings, and in the First World War it passed into the
ownership of extra-European forces, and was declared synonymous with
Liberalism. This was of course, a polemical meaning, and there are several
variations on this side. But first the historical origin of Democracy.
It arose in the middle of the 18th century with the coming of
Rationalism. Rationalism negated History as a basis for any thought or
endeavor whatever, and therefore, Church and State, Nobility and Clergy
had no rights based on tradition. Reason is quantitative, and thus the Estates
were regarded as less important than the insignificant masses of the
population. Previous centuries had referred to the monarch by the name of
the country. Thus the King of France was “France.” An assembly of the
Estates was also called “France,” or “England” or “Spain.” But to
Rationalism, not quality but quantity determines, so the mass became the
nation. “The People” became a

polemical word to shut out the Estates, and deny them the right to political
existence. At first, the mass was called “The Third Estate,” but later all
Estates were denied.
The idea of Democracy was, however, saturated with will-to-power; it
is not a mere abstraction, it is an organic idea, with superpersonal force. The
whole development which produced Rationalism, the epoch at which
Culture turned to Civilization, was of course a crisis in the Western
organism. It was thus illness, and Democracy was illness, but it was a one
through which every High Culture has gone, and was therefore impelled by
organic necessity. Democracy seeks no compromise, no “balancing,” no
destruction of authority — it seeks power. It denies the Estates in order to
supplant them.
One characteristic of Democracy was that it rejected the aristocratic
principle which equated social significance with political significance. It
wished to turn this around and make social dependent on political. This of
course was merely the foundation of a new aristocracy, and in very fact
democracy was self-destructive: when it attained power, it turned into
Napoleon has also in this respect the greatest possible symbolic
significance. He, the great Democrat, the great Vulgarian, spread the
Revolution against Dynasty and Aristocracy, but created his own Dynasty
and made his Marshals into Dukes. This was not cynicism, nor faithlessness
to conviction — Napoleon as Emperor was just as much a Democrat as
when he cleared the mob from the streets of Paris. Democracy, by
mobilizing the masses of the population, enormously raises the power-
potential of the nations and of the Culture. Democracy is the idea that a
Duke does not thereby become a Marshal, but a Marshal does thereby
become a Duke. As a technic of ruling, it is solely and simply a new method
of furnishing the political

leaders. It makes social rank dependent on political-military rank, instead of

The new Dynasty of Democracy, and the new democratic aristocracy
are filled with the same will-to-duration that animated the Hohenstaufen, the
Capet, the Norman, the Hapsburg, the Welf, the feudal barons whose names
and traditions still persist.
Historically speaking, Democracy is a feeling, and has nothing
whatever to do with “equality,” “representative government” or anything of
the sort. The whole cycle of Democracy was compressed with intense
symbolism into the comparatively short career of the great Napoleon. This
man’s formula La carriére ouverte aux talens expresses whatever “equality”
sentiment Democracy contains, namely equality of opportunity. There is no
thought whatever of abolishing rank or gradation of rights. Revolution,
Consolidation, Imperialism — the history of Democracy.
But the expression of the whole cycle of Democracy in the short span
of Napoleon’s life, was symbolic only, for Democracy had most of its life
span of two centuries ahead of it. Democracy is not a retreat from Reality,
from War, History and Politics, like Liberalism. It remains within politics,
but seeks to make politics a thing of mass. It seeks to make everyone
subject to politics, and to make everyone into a politician. Napoleon’s
remark to Goethe “Politics is Destiny” expresses this widening of the base of
political power that is Democracy. Up to the end of the 18th century, war
and politics were for the Cabinets, the Kings, and small professional armies.
Politics and war seldom touched the ordinary person. Democracy changed
all this: it put the entire man-power of the nation onto the battlefields, it
forced everyone to have an opinion on matters of government, it forced him
then to express the opinion

in plebiscites and elections. If he had no independent opinion — and more

than 99% of men do not — it forced an opinion on him, and told him it was
It was Fate for the idea of Democracy that it was born at the same
time as the Economic Age. It meant that its authoritarian tendency was, as it
were, strangled, and it would have to wait for a political age to express itself
again, after its brief flash of glory in Napoleon. But the end of the Economic
Age was also the end of the Democracy Idea. Thus Democracy in fact was
throughout most of its history a servant of Economics in its battle against
Democracy had two poles, ability and mass. It put everyone into
politics, and allowed the successful ones an amount of power tenfold that of
any absolute monarch. But Napoleon himself could not stand against the
forces which Money mobilized against him in the Economic Age, and the
lesser democratic dictators were more easily overwhelmed. In Spanish
South America, where the money power was not absolute, a whole tradition
of democratic dictators — Bolivar, Rosas, Francia, O’Higgins, some of the
best known — show the powerful authoritarian tendency in popular
But in most countries only the vocabulary of democracy was retained,
and this enabled the economic powers to conduct themselves in a more or
less absolute fashion, for they hat struck down the State with Democracy,
and then bought Democracy. In later democratic conditions — in our case
from 1850 — it was solely the financier whose interest was served by the
constitutionalized anarchy called Democracy. The word democracy thus
passed into the possession of Money, and it was transformed from its
historical meaning into its 20th century meaning. The Culture-distorters use
it as meaning the denial of qualitative differences among nations and races;
thus the foreigner

must be admitted to the positions of wealth and authority. To the financier,

it means the “rule of law” — his law, which makes possible his
unprecedented usury by means of his monopoly of money.
But Democracy perishes with Rationalism. The idea of basing
political power on the masses of the population was a technic at best. Either
it proceeded to authoritarian rule like that of Napoleon or Mussolini, or else
it was a mere cover for unhampered looting by the financier. Authoritarian
rule is the end of democracy, but is not itself democracy. With the coming
of the Age of Absolute Politics, the necessity for pretexts falls away.
Plebiscites and elections become old-fashioned, and finally cease altogether.
The symbiosis of war and politics supports itself and does not claim it
“represents” any class. In the annihilation-war between Authority and
Money, “Democracy” may be a slogan for either side, but more than a
slogan it cannot be.


History is cataclysmic; but it is also continuous. The superficial

events are often extremely violent and surprising, but beneath them the
adjustment of one Age into the next is gradual. Thus Democracy was not at
all understood by its early protagonists as the lowering of everything human
to the level of the least valuable human beings. Its first propagators came
from the higher strata of the Culture, in the main, and those who did not,
sought to give the impression they did: “de” Robespierre, “de” Kalb, “de”
Voltaire, “de” Beaumarchais. The original idea was to make everyone, so to
speak, into a nobleman. Naturally in the blind hatred and passionate
jealousy of the Terror of ’93 this was obscured, but Tradition does not

perish in one onslaught, and on the social side, the battle of Democracy
versus Tradition was long and hard.
The authoritarian political tendency of Democracy was, as seen,
strangled at birth by the power of Money in an Economic Age. But the word
then became a slogan in the social battle, and in the economic battle. It
always meant mass, quantity, numbers as opposed to quality and tradition.
The first version of the idea was to make everything higher into common
property, and as this was shown to be unfeasible, the next idea was to
destroy all quality and superiority by merging it into the mass. The weaker
Tradition was, the greater was the success of the mass-spirit. Thus in
America, its victory was complete, and the principle of mass was applied
even to the field of education. America with less than half the population of
the home soil of Western Culture had in the 20th century ten times as many
institutions of higher learning, so-called. For, in everything, Democracy
must fail, even in success. The practice of giving everyone a diploma meant
quite simply that the diploma became meaningless.
The ultimate in this direction was reached by an American writer who
branded higher chemistry, physics, technics and mathematics as
“undemocratic,” because they were the possession of a few, and were thus
tending to create some sort of aristocracy. It never occurred to this person
that the theory of Democracy is also the possession of a few: these masses
did not mobilize themselves; the Spirit of the Age, acting on certain
individuals of the population, spread abroad the feeling that everything
should be set in motion, everything should be externalized, de-spiritualized,
rendered into “mass,” numbered and counted.
And thus, with the coming of the 20th century, “Democracy” has a
different meaning from its original one. Its original two

poles of Ability and Mass have become merged for the purposes of the
powers of Economics, who own the word “democracy” in this century.
They place upon it solely the meaning of mass, and use it to combat the new
resurgent Authority-Idea. The economic lords of the earth mobilized the
masses against the authority of the State, and miscalled it “democracy.” The
Age of Absolute Politics begins by mobilizing the masses against the power
of Money and Economics, and will end Napoleon-wise in the restoration of
Authority. But there will at last be no more plebiscites, no more elections,
no more propaganda, no more mass audience attending the political drama.
The two centuries of democracy end in Empire. With the natural death of
the idea of mass counting for something, Authority makes no intellectual
appeal whatever to justify itself. It is simply there, and it is not a problem.


The gradual transition of the Spirit of the 18th century into that of the
19th century was manifested by the increasingly radical nature of the
conflict between Tradition and democracy. Rationalism became more
extreme with each decade. Its most intransigent product is Communism.
In the century 1750–1850, democracy had undermined the State and
opened the way for the Economic Age. But the financier and the industrial
baron replaced the absolute monarch. Communism is the symbol of the
transference of the democratic struggle to the sphere of economics.
Communism fitted itself out with a Rationalistic philosophy: a
materialistic metaphysic, an atomistic logic, a social ethic, an economic
politics. It even offered a philosophy of history which said that human
history was the history of economic development and struggles! And these
people ridiculed the Scholastic philosophers for the nature of the problems
they set themselves! Religion — that was economic, politics, of course,
also. Technics and art were clearly economic. This theory was actually the
crowning intellectual stupidity of the Age of Economics.

The Age asserted thus its omnipotence and universality. “Everything within
economics, nothing outside economics, nothing against economics” might
well have been the slogan.
Just as the political aspect of Democracy had been directed against
quality and tradition, so the economic aspect was directed against even such
quality and superiority as was engendered by economic differences.
Political class war became economic class war. Just as the appeal in the first
stage had been made to anyone not belonging to the two Estates, so later the
appeal was directed to the non-possessors. Not all non-possessors, but only
those in the great cities, and within this group, only the manual workers, for
only these were physically concentrated so that they could be brought on to
the streets for class war.
But Communism was political, unlike Liberalism, and named an
enemy who must be annihilated — the bourgeoisie. The better to make the
program of action go ahead, the picture was simplified: there are only two
realities in the whole world, bourgeoisie and proletariat. Nations and States
are bourgeois devices to keep the proletariat divided and thus conquered.
This was the origin of the idea that Communism was an Internationale, but
its strength as an Internationale was shown in 1914, when the class-war
organizations in all countries threw themselves heartily into the fight among
the nations. It was never an Internationale in the true sense.
Nevertheless it was an affirmation of politics, and was a force to be
reckoned with during the Economic Age. It was able in various Western
countries to bring about Civil War e.g., France, 1871. Its high point was the
Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, 1918, when the theory of Communism was
actually adopted by a non-theoretical Asiatic regime as a weapon of foreign

It was in the essence of Communism, as in every by-product of

Rationalism, that its wish-picture could never become actualized. Using
inorganic logic to construct a program for actuality does not change the fact
that an organism has its own structure, development, and tempo. This can
be injured, distorted, annihilated from without, but inwardly changed it
cannot be. Thus Communism was purely destructive in effect, and this was
why the Asiatic power on Europe’s boundary adopted it as a program to
disintegrate all European States. Communism, like all Utopias, is
impossible of realization, because they are rational and Life is irrational.
The sole novelty about the Utopia of Communism is that it proclaims itself
as inevitable. This was a tribute to its will-to-power, but this vain boast had
the same life span as Rationalism. With the advent of the Age of Absolute
Politics, even class-war drops theory. History receives Rationalism and all
its debris into its vaults of the dead. Death, and not refutation, is the fate of
rationalistic theories of politics and economics. We who live in the middle
of the 20th century will witness the final desuetude of Rationalism and its

Association and Dissociation

of Forms of
Thought and Action

In developing a 20th century outlook on politics, the first thing

necessary was to dissociate politics from other directions of human energy,
particularly from economics and morality. In view of the enormous vogue
of theories which sought to explain political phenomena with ideational
equipment derived from, and appropriate to, other fields of activity or
thought, this was quite necessary. We have seen that politics is a type of
activity sui generis, that its practice involves, often entirely unconsciously
on the part of the actor, its own way of thinking in action. It remains to state
definitively the separability and the inter-dependence of the various
directions of human energy, and of Cultural energy.
A world without abstract thought — the world of the dog, for example
— is a world wherein a complete continuity reigns. Each thing fits quite
perfectly into its place or sphere. By comparison with the human world, it is
non-problematical. Reality and appearance are one. The distinctively
human soul sees the macrocosm however as symbolic; it differentiates
between Appearance

and Reality, the symbol and that which is symbolized. All constructive
human thinking whatever contains this as its essence. But this separating of
things into appearance and reality, this singling out of one thing from
another and bestowing intense abstract thought on it, is itself a distortion of
its quiet, non-problematical relation to other things. Thus to think is to
For Culture-man, the High Culture in which he is fated to be born,
live and die, is the world of his spirit. The High Culture sets the spiritual
boundaries of this world. The High Culture sets its impress on almost every
form of thought and activity of the individuals and groups in its domain.
Within this realm, the thought-forms and thoughts, action-forms and actions,
all fit into their natural places and occupy their non-problematical relations
to one another. These relations continue, even though thought is applied to a
sphere to exaggerate its part in the destiny of the whole. To think is to
exaggerate, but this exaggeration affects only thought and does not disturb
the macrocosm. The same is true of any one man: the various directions of
his energy stand in an organically unified, harmonious relationship to one
another. There is no “economic man” — there is only this man directing his
energy toward economics for the moment. Nor is there any “reasonable
man,” such as some Western legal systems predicate. There is only this man
being reasonable for this occasion. The essential characteristic of the higher
organisms, man, and High Culture, is the soul. Thus this particular man acts
economically in quite a different fashion from another man, because his soul
is different. This makes all of his thought and action peculiar to him. One
man has strong interests and abilities in a certain direction, another man
elsewhere. High Cultures are also differentiated from one another by
unequal endowment in various

directions. The principium individuationis applies also to the High Cultures.

Every organism, from the plants and animals to men and Cultures, has
a multiplicity of functions, a diversity that increases in refinement and
articulation as we proceed upward. This functional versatility does not
however disturb the unity of the organism. It is the very unity of the
organism that creates this necessity for expression in various directions. For
one direction to be pursued at the expense of another is distortion and brings
illness and death, if persisted in. I am concerned only with organisms in
health here, and in these, the changing of direction of energy is governed by
the inner rhythm of the organism. This rhythm is different in each organism,
and is affected by individuality, age, sex, adaptation, and milieu. Each
human being has his daily sequence of changes of direction of energy-flow.
All organisms have their inner rhythm that governs which function is called
into play at a given moment. A Culture has such a rhythm also, and at
various stages of its development, this rhythm accents first one, then
another, field of thought of activity. Similarly any man, and a Culture-man
in particular, has his appropriate type of activity and of thought for each age
of his development. It has been well said that a young man is an idealist, a
mature man a realist, an old man a mystic. This rhythm in a Culture which
gives primacy to a certain side of its life during a given period is the source
of The Spirit of the Age.
It is only the accent, the beat, which is affected in this changing of
direction. The various functions all continue, but one is primary. This
describes both men and Cultures. Thus “economic man” continues to exist
as a unit, even in his economic activity; his individuality continues, and his
other spiritual sides still exist, even though not given primacy at the
moment. Similarly

with Cultures: all types of thought and activity exist in all ages, even though
for a given Age a certain side of Life is uppermost. This is the meaning of
“anachronism” in its historical use. Thus Fausto Sozzini is an anachronism
in the 16th century, Carlyle in the 19th.
So much for the association of forms of thought and action. They are
also dissociated.
The expression change of direction was used to denote the shifting of
emphasis from one function to another. These changes of direction are
forms of adaptation to different types of situations. It is the type of situation,
of problem to be solved, that gives the uniqueness to a way of thinking or
acting. Self-evidently one would not approach the problem of fixing a piece
of machinery as a power-problem — that would end in the smashing of the
enemy machinery. Nevertheless many Rationalists and Liberals tried to treat
power-problems as mechanical in nature.
The various fields of thought and endeavor thus separate out.
Considered by themselves, they are quite autonomous. Each has different
conscious assumptions, and a different unconscious attitude. Some of the
most important must be listed, with their fundamental structures.
First, there is religion. From the viewpoint of spiritual content, this is
the highest of all human forms of thought. Religion has the great, ever-
present characteristic that it sees the totality of things under a sacred aspect.
It is divine metaphysics, and regards every other form of human thought and
action as subsidiary. Religion is not a method of social improvement, it is
not a codification of knowledge, it is not ethics — it is the presentation of a
sacred ultimate reality, and all of its phases flow from this.
Philosophy, however, is essentially a different direction of

thought. Even a theistic philosophy has a different attitude from the

religions. In a theistic philosophy, the beginning of religion sets the
boundary to the philosophic endeavor. The philosophy lies this side of
religion and gives a purely natural explanation to its subject-matter.
Science is yet another direction of thought: it is directed only to
finding interrelations between phenomena, and generalizing the results, but
it does not attempt to give ultimate explanations.
Technics has nothing to do with science, for it is not a form of pure
thinking at all, but thought directed to action. Technics has one aim: power
over the macrocosm. It uses the results of science as its tools, scientific
theoretical generalizations as levers, but it discards them when their efficacy
ceases. Technics is not concerned with what is true, but with what works: if
a materialistic theory yields no results, and a theological one does, technics
adopts the latter. It was thus Destiny that Pragmatism should appear in
America, the land of worship of technics. This “philosophy” teaches that
what is true is what works. This is simply another way of saying that one is
not interested in truth, and is thus the abdication of philosophy. This could
be called the elevation of technics or the degradation of philosophy, but the
total difference of direction between technics and philosophy is not thereby
altered; it is merely that the age placed strong emphasis on technics, and
little on philosophy. Nor can the alliance, in 20th century practice almost an
identity, between practitioners of Science and Technics obliterate the
difference of direction between these two fields. The same man can think at
one time as a scientist, seeking information, and in the next moment as a
technician, applying it to get power over Nature. Science and Technics are
as different from Philosophy as they are from each other: neither one seeks
to give explanations, these are for philosophy and religion. If

someone thinks he is founding a “scientific philosophy,” he is mistaken, and

on the very first page he is bound to abandon the scientific attitude and
assume the philosophic. One cannot face two directions at once. If
precedence is given to Science over Philosophy, this is something else; this
merely reflects the Spirit of the Age as being an externalized one. But
important is that all these forms of thought and action are imbedded in the
flux and rhythm of the development of a High Culture; a given direction of
thought has its vogue of supremacy just so long as the Culture-stage lasts
which chose it for this role.
Economics is a form of action. Specifically, it is action designed to
nourish and enrich private life. Any attempt to control other lives thus
departs from Economics. When Cecil Rhodes thought primarily of making
himself wealthy, he was thinking economically; when he proceeded to use
his wealth for control over the populations of Africa, he was thinking
politically. It is only rarely that a man of action is capable of mastery of
both these different directions of endeavor, so different are their respective
techniques. Economics again has two phases, production and trade, whose
special techniques are again so different ordinarily one man does not master
The refinements of ways of thinking and acting are numerous. For
instance, the data of metaphysics do not matter to ethics, even though one
use a similar principle in both of them. Actually the data of ethics are its
own. Mathematics also has its own attitude, related to but distinct from that
of logic. Esthetics singles out one aspect of the totality of relationships, and
this determines its basic assumptions.


Not only is there association and dissociation between forms of

thought and action but there is also an order of rank between

them, depending upon the problem of the moment. The duality of man,
arising from the commingling in his nature of a human soul and of the
instincts of the beast of prey, gives rise to the fact that his action almost
never conforms to his abstract thought-systems. The abstract thought has its
center of gravity on the soul side of him, the action on the beast of prey side.
The man who, in a theological discussion, resorts to physical blows in order
to prove his point, is confusing the two spheres of thought and action. So is
the man who discusses politics in terms of morality. These two spheres of
thought and action have their perfectly definite frontiers. Each man has
abstract thought ability, and ability to act. When he is thinking abstractly, he
does not act, and when he is acting, he does not think abstractly. His
thought then is completely submerged in the action. Abstract formulation of
action may come before action, or after action, but it does not come during
action. As Goethe said: “The doer is always conscienceless; only the
spectator has a conscience.”
What is Life? It is the process of actualization of the possible.
Actualization — and thus action. Life has its center of gravity on the side of
action, and not on the side of abstract thought. For purposes of action, then,
there is an order of rank which places practical skill above theorizing. It is
this which makes Macchiavelli more valuable politically than Plato, Thomas
More, Campanella, Fourier, Marx, Edward Bellamy or Samuel Butler. He
wrote of politics as it is, the others as it should be, or as they wanted it to be.
It is fairly well known that nothing can be proved by violence — this
is because the two spheres of abstract thought and action, truths and facts, do
not intersect. It is not as well understood that the reverse is also true, that no
violence can be done by proof; in other words, effects cannot be gained in
the world

of action by truths. Merely to start to try to actualize an abstract theory is to

abandon it. The net result of the attempt to impose a way of thinking where
it is not appropriate is bungling. There is no choice between a chemistry-
artist and a physics-artist, but only between a good artist and a poor one. To
approach a mechanical problem as though good and evil are involved in it is
to prepare a failure. Each aspect of life yields its secrets only to the method
adapted to it. Politics always has refused to give any power to the man who
is out to “reform” it according to a morality. Nor can it be understood by
trying to impose foreign methods of thought upon it. Politics is the opposite
of abstract; derivatively abstract means “drawn away from” — away from
what? — from action, reality, facts.
This whole outlook is one of the fact side of the human being. This
work is concerned only with action, because the Age of Absolute Politics in
which it appears is an age of action. No one has ever said politics should be
immoral — but all political thinkers have said that politics is politics.
Questions of should are on the other side of the soul, and are not treated
here. The fact that politics and morality do not intersect is shown by the
example of the Second World War. The American half of the extra-
European coalition against Europe stated most decisively that it was fighting
for Christian morality, yet after the war it carried out the attempt to
exterminate physically the Culture-bearing stratum within its jurisdiction in
occupied Europe. Beyond this, mass-starvation and looting were employed
to destroy many millions of Europeans, physically, economically. The
example is not unique: the victorious powers after the First World War had
carried out a starvation blockade of the defeated enemy after the War, and
that War also was conducted by those victorious powers in the name of
Christian morality.
In the practice of politics, a moral approach can only result

in inefficiency or disaster. It is destructive in exact proportion as it is taken

If the morality is used quite cynically, as propaganda to increase the
brutalization of a war, it distorts war and politics in the direction of
In the 20th century, politics reconquers once more its own realm. The
motivation of politics is no longer derived from economics. Law, technics,
economics, social organization — all reflect the great realities of politics. In
this last formative age of a great Culture, which will last through the 21st
century, the motivation of the perpetual power-struggle is supplied by the
unity of the Western Civilization itself. The real front of the wars of this age
is simply Europe versus anti-Europe. There are border areas, like those
between Russia and Europe, like the northern countries of South America.
Each side has its allies: the white populations strewn over the world belong
to Europe; the Asiatic distorting elements of cohesion and power in the
various Western countries belong to non-Europe. It is the struggle of a
positive against a negative, of creation against destruction, of Cultural
superiority against the envy of the outsider. It is the unrelenting battle
against the master of yesterday by his liberated slaves, burning with
vengeance for their centuries of slavery.
These wars of course will be true unlimited wars, like the Crusades,
and not agonal like intra-European wars of the 17th and 18th centuries.
They will be correspondingly absolute in their means and in their duration.
For example, prisoner-of-war usages developed in the Western Civilization
on considerations of humanitarianism and military honor. After the Second
World War Russia abolished the first of these bases, by starving and
enslaving prisoners, and America abolished the second by hanging
prisoners-of-war en masse, and ignoring the Hague Conventions in its post-
war occupation of Europe.

The coming wars will thus revive the older practices of enslaving and
killing war prisoners, and remove the protections hitherto extended to the
civilian population. Instead of the codified military honor of a High Culture,
honor will eventually become a matter of inner personal imperative, and the
individual will decide for himself, the importance of his decision depending
upon his position. It is not dishonorable per se to kill prisoners, but only if
they surrender and give up their arms on condition their lives are to be
spared, as the European soldiers and leaders did who were later hanged by
the Americans after the Second World War.
In the last act of our grand Western Culture-drama, the idea of the
Culture itself demonstrates its unimpaired vigor — Destiny is always young,
says the philosopher of this Age — by placing itself in the center of Life and
defining all men as friends or enemies according as they adhere to it, or
oppose it. Culture-politics is the end of the train of religion-politics, family-
politics, and faction-politics from the Crusades to the Reformation, dynasty-
politics to the Vienna-Congress, national-politics and economic-politics to
the Second World War. The crisis of Rationalism subsides. Its attendant
phenomena grow colorless, more forced, and one by one they fade away:
Equality, Democracy, Happiness, Instability, Commercialism, High Finance
and its power of Money, Class War, Trade as an end in itself, Social
Atomism, Parliamentarism, Liberalism, Communism, Materialism, Mass-
Propaganda. All these proud banners trail finally in the dust. They are
nothing but the symbols of Reason’s daring and bold, but hopeless, attempt
to conquer the kingdom of the Soul.

Cultural Vitalism

(A) Culture Health

“I recognize only two nations, the Occident, and the Orient.”

— Napoleon

“It is want of race, and nothing else, that makes intellectuals —

philosophers, doctrinaires, Utopists — incapable of understanding the depth
of this metaphysical hatred, which is the beat-difference of two currents of
being manifested as an unbearable dissonance, a hatred that may become
tragic for both.”
— Spengler

“I wanted to prepare the fusion of the great interests of Europe, as I had

accomplished that of the parties. I concerned myself little with the passing
rancor of the peoples, for I was sure that the results would lead them
irresistibly back to me. Europe would in this way have become in truth a
united nation, and every one would have been, no matter where he traveled,
in the same Fatherland. This fusion will accomplish itself sooner or later
through the pressure of the facts; the impulse has been given which, since
my downfall and the disappearance of my system, will make the restoration
of balance possible in Europe only by merger and fusion of the great
— Napoleon


For the first time is developed here the thesis of Cultural Vitalism, the
physiognomy of the adaptation, health, or illness of a High Culture.
Heretofore, a Culture has usually been looked upon as a result, a mere sum
total of collective activity of human beings and groups of human beings. To
the extent that its unity and continuity was perceived at all, this was regarded
as purely materially-linked “influence” of individuals, groups or written
ideas on contemporaries or posterity. But with the advance of age of the
Western Culture, its unity began dimly to be perceived. This unity was
formulated in very different ways, with different points of origin, different
laws of development, but the essential idea was the unity of the Culture.
Even in the home of Materialism, Benjamin Kidd recognized the inner unity
of the West in his work “Western Civilization.” Nietzsche, Lamprecht,
Breysig, Meray, are only a few of those who sensed this idea. In an age
which starts from facts, and not from programs, which submits to realities
without trying to make them pass a rationalistic test, it has become self-

spiritually compulsory to think within this new framework. If two

individuals, widely separated geographically, and in no contact with one
another, develop similar inventions, similar philosophies, chose the same
subject matter for drama or lyric — this is not “influence” nor
“coincidence,” but a reflection of the development of the Culture to which
both belong. From the higher Cultural standpoint the arguments about who
was the first to invent this or that device, who originated this or that idea, are
quite barren. These questions are not on any higher plane than the legal, at
best. If the development in question is one of superpersonal force, and not a
mere personal amusement, it is the development of the Culture, and the fact
that it was expressed simultaneously by more than one person only testifies
to its Destiny-quality.
The nature of the unity of the Culture is purely spiritual in its origin.
The material unity that follows is the unfolding of the precedent inner,
spiritual unity. Life is the actualizing of the possible; the development of a
High Culture is the unfolding, over the predetermined organic life-span, of
the inner possibilities contained in the Culture-soul.
The one in which we live is the 8th High Culture to appear on this
planet. The unity and inner relationship of the totality of forms and
creations of any one of the others is apparent to us, because we stand
completely outside it and cannot enter into the nuances of its soul, since we
belong to another. This impenetrability of an alien Culture is part of a wider
organic generalization: even the spirit of another age of our own Culture, of
another nation, another individual, in the last analysis, presents difficulties to
complete understanding. The technique of comprehension of other life-
forms is living into them. To measure, time, and calculate the behavior of
another organism is valueless to organic assimilation. Materialistic

with its heaps of results on paper, never aided one individual to understand
another. If any identity was reached, it was in spite of the abstract
Difficulty in assimilating oneself into other organic forms,
understanding them, penetrating them, is a matter of degree. A person with
similar character is readily understood by us. If his character is dissimilar,
but his background is similar, he can be understood with more difficulty.
Different nationality, different race, different cultural origin, raise
successively steeper barriers to mutuality. This sets out one of the problems
of Cultural Vitalism.
The question is: to what extent can a Culture impress new populations
entering its area with the Cultural idea? Subsidiary problems arise from the
fact that such new populations may have one or all of various kinds of
cohesiveness, that of a people, or of a race, or of a nation, or of a State, or of
another Culture.
The further problem arises of the precise relation of the Culture to the
populations in its service, and to those outside its area. It is formulated in
this way because High Cultures are bound to a landscape, and the formative
impulses appear always in the original landscape, even in the last phase, that
of Civilization, in which the Culture externalizes itself completely and
expands to its furthest limits. The expansive, externalizing tendency begins
already in the middle of the life span, but it only becomes dominant with the
sharp caesura marked by the crisis of Civilization. For us the symbol of this
break is Napoleon. Since his time the populations of the entire Earth have
been brought within the arc of the most unlimited Imperialism known to
history. They stand however in varying relationships to the Mother-Idea of
this Imperialism, and these relationships must also be examined.

The Articulation of a Culture

The nations, thought-forms, art-forms, and ideas which are the

expression of the development of a Culture are always in the custody of a
comparatively small group. How large this group is, how easily it can
replenish itself, depends on the character of the Culture. In this respect, the
Classical Culture is instructive. Its Ideas were one and all exoteric: Socrates
conducts his philosophizing in the agora. In our case the picture of Leibnitz
or Descartes carrying on such activity would be ludicrous in the extreme, for
Western philosophy is the possession of a very few.
But any Culture, even the exoteric Classical, is restricted for its full
expression, in whatever direction, to certain levels of the populations in its
area. Culture is by its very nature selective, exclusive. The use of the word
in the personal sense — a “cultured” man — describes a man out of the
ordinary, a man whose ideas and attitudes are ordered and articulated.
Cultured in the personal sense means devoted to something beyond oneself
and one’s own domestic well-being. In the 19th century

world-picture, with its atomistic mania, only individuals existed, nothing

higher, therefore the word was used to describe a practitioner or appreciator
of art or literature. But patriotism, devotion to duty, ethical imperative,
heroism, self-sacrifice, are also an expression of Culture — primitive man
does not evince them. A war is just as much an expression of Culture as a
poem, a factory as a cathedral, a rifle as a statue.
A high Culture in the course of its fulfillment acts in all directions of
thought and action, and on every person within its area.
The intensity of its action in a given direction depends on the Culture-
soul: some of the Cultures have been passionately historical, like the
Chinese; some completely ahistoric, like the Indian; some have developed
massive technics, like the Egyptian and our own, some have ignored
technics, like the Classical and Mexican.
The intensity of the impression of the Culture on individuals is
proportional to their receptivity to spiritual impressions. The individual of
small soul and limited horizon lives for himself because he understands
nothing else. To such a man Western music is merely an alternate up and
down, loud and soft, philosophy is mere words, history is a collection of
fairy-tales, even the reality of which is not inwardly felt, politics is the
selfishness of the great, military conscription a burden which his lack of
moral courage forces him to accept. Thus even his individualism is a mere
denial of anything higher, and not an affirming of his own soul. The
extraordinary man is the one who puts something else before his own life
and security. Even as he faced the firing squad, William Walker could have
saved his life by merely renouncing his claim to President of Nicaragua. To
the common man, this is insane. The common man is unjust, but not on
principle; he is selfish, but is incapable of the imperative

of Ibsen’s exalted selfishness; he is the slave of his passions, but incapable

of higher sexual love, for even this is an expression of Culture — primitive
man simply would not understand Western erotic if it were explained to him,
this sublimation of passion into metaphysics. He lacks any sort of honor,
and will submit to any humiliation rather than revolt — it is always leader-
natures who revolt. He gambles in the hope of winning, and if he loses, he
whimpers. He would rather live on his knees than die on his feet. He
accepts the loudest voice as the true one. He follows the leader of the
moment — but only so far, and when the leader is eclipsed by a new one, he
points out his record of opposition. In victory he is a bully, in defeat he is a
lackey. His talk is big, his deeds small. He likes to play, but has no
sportsmanship. Great thoughts and plans he castigates as “megalomania.”
Anyone who tries to pull him up and along the road of higher
accomplishment he hates, and when the chance offers, he crucifies him, like
Christ, burns him, like Savonarola, kicks his dead body in the square in
Milan. He is always laughing at the discomfiture of another, but he has no
sense of humor, and is equally incapable of true seriousness. He denounces
the crime of passion, but eagerly reads the literature of such crimes. He
herds in the street to see an accident, and enjoys seeing another sustain the
blows of fate. He does not care if his countrymen are spilling their blood as
long as he is secure. He is everything mean and unheroic, but he lacks the
mentality to be Iago or Richard III. He has no access to Culture, and, when
he dares, he persecutes anyone who has. Nothing delights him more than to
see a great leader fall. He hated Metternich and Wellington, the symbols of
Tradition, he refused, as Reichstag, to send ex-Chancellor Bismarck a
birthday greeting. He makes up the constituency of all parliaments
everywhere, and he invades all councils-of-war to advise prudence

and caution. If beliefs to which he was committed become dangerous, he

recants — they were never his anyway. He is the inner weakness of every
organism, the enemy of all greatness, the material of treason.
It is not such human stuff that an exacting High Culture can use to
further its Destiny. The common man is the material with which the great
political leaders in democratic conditions work. In earlier centuries, the
common man did not attend the Cultural drama. It did not interest him, and
the participants were not yet under the Rationalistic spell, the “counting-
mania,” as Nietzsche called it. When democratic conditions proceed to their
extreme, the result is that even the leaders are common men, with the jealous
and crooked soul of envy of that to which they are not equal, like Roosevelt
and his coterie in America. In his cult of “The Common Man,” he was
deifying himself, like Caligula. The abolition of quality smothers the
exceptional man in his youth and turns him into a cynic.
In earlier centuries there was no suggestion anywhere that the masses
of the population had a part to play. When this idea does triumph, it turns
out that the only role these masses can play is the passive one of unwieldy
building material for the articulate part of the population.
What is the physical articulation of the body of the Culture? The
more exacting the nature of the Cultural task, the higher the type of
humanity required for its performance. There is in all Cultures a spiritual
level of the entire population called the Culture-bearing stratum. It is this
articulation of Culture-populations alone which makes the expression of a
High Culture possible. It is the technic of living, the habitus of the Culture.
The Culture-bearing stratum is the custodian of the wealth of expression-
forms of the Culture. To it belong all the creators in the domains of religion,
philosophy, science, music, literature,

the arts of form, mathematics, politics, technics, and war, as well as the non-
creators who fully understand and themselves experience the developments
in this higher world, the appreciators.
So, within itself the Culture-bearing stratum is articulated into
creators and appreciators. It is in general the latter who transmit the great
creations downward, insofar as this is possible. This process serves to
recruit the higher material, wherever it appears, into the Culture-bearing
stratum. The process of replenishment is continually going on, for the
Culture-bearing stratum is not hereditary in any strict sense. The Culture-
bearing stratum is a purely spiritual level of the populace of the Culture. It
has no economic, political, social, or other hallmark. Some of its most
luminous creators have lived and died in want, e.g., Beethoven and
Schubert. Other souls, equally creative, but less rugged, have been strangled
by poverty — Chatterton. Many of its creative members go through their
lives entirely unnoticed — Mendel, Kierkegaard, Copernicus. Others are
mistaken for mere talents — Shakespeare, Rembrandt.
The Culture-bearing stratum is not recognized by its contemporaries
in any way as a unity, nor does it recognize itself as one. As a stratum it is
invisible, like the Culture it carries. Because it is a purely psychic stratum, it
can be given no material description to satisfy the intellectuals. Even the
intellectuals would admit however that Europe or America could be thrown
into a material chaos from which it would take years to emerge if the few
thousands in the higher technical ranks were removed. These technicians
are a part of the Culture-bearing stratum, although it is not merely
occupational. Technicians of course, like economic leaders, or military
leaders, play purely subordinate roles in the Culture-drama. The most
important part of this stratum at any one time is the group which is the

custodian of the highest Idea. Thus in Dante’s time, Emperor and Pope were
the two highest symbols of reality, and it was in the service of either one of
these symbols that the leading members of the Culture-bearing stratum were
then to be found. The highest symbolic force was then transferred to the
dynasties, and dynastic politics claimed its lives during its centuries. With
the coming of Enlightenment and Rationalism, the whole West goes into a
crisis of long duration, and not less does the Culture-bearing stratum. It was
split even more than usual, and only now, after two centuries, is it possible
to restore its basic unity. I say more than usual, for it must not be supposed
that the Culture-bearing stratum ever was a sort of international, a
freemasonry. On the contrary, it supplied leaders on both sides of every war
and every tendency.


Within this stratum there is constant struggle between Tradition and

Innovation. The strong, vital part naturally represents the new, forward
development, affirming the next age. It is the function of Tradition to assure
continuity. Tradition is the memory of a superpersonal soul. It must see that
the same creative spirit of the grand past is present at each innovation.
The crisis of Rationalism places the same frightful strain on the higher
stratum that it does on the entire organism. The step forward — Democracy
— is affirmative in the last analysis, because it is an historical necessity in
the life of a Culture, as we know from history. But it is a difficult step for
men to take who have given their lives to construction and creation, for to
mobilize the masses is to destroy. The step from Culture to Civilization is a
fall; it is the onset of senility. For this reason, leaders whose center of
gravity was on the side of culture resisted

the Revolution of Democracy with all their power — Burke, Goethe, Hegel,
Schopenhauer, Metternich, Wellington, Carlyle, Nietzsche. The Culture-
bearing stratum, articulated into creators and appreciators, is invisible as
such. It corresponds to no economic class, no social class, no nobility, no
aristocracy, no occupation. Its members are not all public figures by any
means. But by its existence, this stratum actualizes a High Culture on this
earth. If a process had existed by which members of the stratum could be all
selected, the extra-European forces would probably have exterminated it in
the attempt to destroy the West. The attempt would not have succeeded, for
this stratum is produced by the Culture, and after a long period of chaos — a
generation or two, depending on circumstances — this Cultural organ would
have been again present, including in its numbers descendants of the
invaders, who would also succumb to the Idea. The possibilities in this
direction will be more thoroughly examined later.
In a political age, it is natural that the best brains go into politics and
war. Those who are equal to renunciation and sacrifice are the heroes of this
realm. War-politics is preeminently the field of heroism, and the sacrifices
in this realm are never in vain from the Cultural standpoint, for the war itself
is an expression of Culture. Considered from the rationalistic standpoint, it
is stupid to devote one’s life to an idea, any idea whatever. But once again,
Life, with its organic reality does not obey Rationalism with its urge to
mediocrity. Thus the best are culled from every generation and impelled
into the service of the Culture. The noblest of all are the heroes, who die for
an idea; but everyone cannot be a hero, and the others live for an idea.
An invariable characteristic of this level is its spiritual sensitivity,
which brings it more impressions than the others receive.

This is coupled with more complex internal possibilities, which order the
volume of impressions. It can feel the new Spirit of the Age before it is
articulate, before it triumphs. This also describes all great men, and one
reason so many perish violently is that they promulgated things which were
“ahead of their time.” These men lived in a world more real than that of the
“realistic” people, and these same “realists” are outraged and burn the
Savonarola whom they would follow unquestioningly a generation or two
This vital plane is only a psychic-Cultural unity during the long
centuries of the Culture, but with the coming of the late Civilization — mid-
20th century — the dominant idea of the entire Culture is political.
Napoleon’s “Politics is destiny” is even more true now than when he said it.
The two ideas of Democracy and Authority stand opposed, and only one of
them belongs to the Future. Only Authority represents a step forward, and
thus the strongest, most vital, creative elements in the Culture-bearing
stratum are found in the service of the resurgence of Authority. It has
become political-Cultural.
Since the Culture-bearing stratum has its highest importance in an age
like the present one, when quality reasserts itself against quantity, it must be
defined now as precisely as possible. The notion of mere prominence must
be dissociated strongly from the idea of belonging to this stratum. Wagner,
Ibsen, Cromwell, none of whom were prominent until middle life, were
nonetheless in this plane of life and thought in their previous years. The
notion of prominence is related to the idea of the Culture-bearing stratum in
this way: every man who is prominent in any field, and who also has inner
gifts, of vision, appreciation, or creativeness, naturally belongs to this
stratum. Prominence however may be the result of accident of birth or
fortune, and Europeans have seen two periods in recent

history — after the first two World Wars — when nearly all the ruling
politicians in Europe were simply common men thrown up by chance and
the distorted life of the higher organism.
The Culture-bearing stratum has its highest importance now, rather
than in previous centuries, because it is a relatively tinier minority. The vast
increase of numbers in Europe — it tripled in population in the 19th century
— did not increase the numbers of this stratum, nor of higher natures
generally. This stratum was as numerous in the time of the Crusades as it is
now. It is simply the way of Culture to choose minorities for its expression.
Multiplication of population is downwards. The tension between quantity
and quality grows greater with the increase of numbers, and the Culture-
bearing stratum acquires a mathematically higher significance. The tension
can be suggested in figures: there are not more than 250,000 souls in Europe
who constitute by their potentialities, their imperative, their gifts, their
existence, the Culture-bearing stratum of the West. Their geographical
distribution has never been entirely uniform. In that nation which the
Culture chose for the expression of The Spirit of the Age as it chose Spain
for the expression of Ultra-montanism in the 16th and 17th centuries, France
for the Rococo in the 18th century, or England for Capitalism in the 19th,
there was always a higher proportion of the culturally-significant than in
countries which were not playing the leading Cultural role. This fact was
known to the extra-European forces in their attempt to destroy the Western
Civilization after the Second World War, and was utilized as far as it could
be within the limits of expediency. The real purpose behind the mass-
hangings, mass-looting, and mass-starvation, was to destroy the few by
destroying the many.
The articulation of the Culture has three aspects: the Idea itself, the
transmitting stratum, those to whom it is transmitted.

The latter comprise the vast numbers of human beings who possess any
refinement whatever, who maintain a certain standard of honor or morality,
who take care of their property, who have self-respect and respect the rights
of others, who aspire to improve themselves and their situation instead of
pulling down those who have enriched their inner life and raised themselves
in the world. They are the body of the Culture vis-à-vis the Culture-bearing
stratum as its brain, and the Idea as its soul. In each person who belongs to
this numerically large group there is a quantum of ambition and appreciation
toward the creations of culture. They furnish the instruments by which
creators can carry out their work. By this means they give significance to
their own lives, a significance which the underworld would not understand.
The role of a Maecenas is not the highest, but it is of Cultural value. Who
knows whether we would have Wagner’s greatest works but for Ludwig II?
When we read the results of a great battle, do we always realize that it was
not simply a chess-game between two captains, but that hundreds of firm
officers and thousands of obedient men died to write this line in history, to
make this day and date forever remembered? And when a threatened sack of
society is put down by the police and Army, the casualties on the side of
order thus give by their deaths a higher significance to their lives also. Not
everyone can play a great role, but the right to give meaning to his life
cannot be taken from a man.
But beneath all this is the stratum totally incapable of cultural
attainment, even the most modest: the mob, canaille, Pöbel, underworld,
profanum vulgus, the “common man” of the American cult. These preside at
every Terror, listen wishfully to every Bolshevik agitator, secrete venom at
the sight of any manifestation of Culture or superiority. This stratum exists
at all stages of every Culture as the Peasant’s Wars, the Jacquerie,

Wat Tyler, Jack Cade, John Ball, Thomus Münzer, the Jacobins, the
Communards, the Spanish militiamen, the mob in the square in Milan, are
there to show. As soon as a creative man makes his resolve and proceeds
with his work, somewhere else in a dark envious soul there rises a crooked
determination to stop him, to smash the work. In his later years the Nihilist
Tolstoy gave perfect expression to this basic fact with his formula that not
even one stone should be on top of another. The slogan of the Bolshevik in
1918 was also illuminating: “Destroy Everything!” In our age this
underworld is in the possession of the class-warriors, the rear-guard of
Rationalism. It is thus working, from the larger political viewpoint, solely
for the extra-European forces. Previous rebellions of this stratum were all
doomed because of the unity of the Culture, the pristine vigor of the creative
impulses, and the lack of external danger of such crushing proportions as
exists in this age. Its history is not yet over with. Asia has use for this
stratum, and plans for it.

Tradition and Genius

There are two different ways in which the Culture-bearing stratum can
perform its function. The first is through the presence of a high tradition of
accomplishment along a given line, a “school”; the second is through the
instrumentality of occasional genius. They can combine, in fact they are
never completely separated, for individual genius is always present at the
formation of a tradition in the first instance, and the presence of the tradition
is not hostile to genius when it does appear.
Nevertheless they are different methods of Culture-expression, and
both have importance to the 20th century world-outlook which is here
formulated in its essentials.
Italian painting from 1250 to 1550 is an example of a tradition at
work. The Flemish-Dutch school of the 17th century is another. It was not
necessary for a painter in one of these schools to be a great master in order
to express himself fully. The form was there, unquestioned, it was only
required to master it and to contribute one’s personal development of its
possibilities. Spanish and German painting on the other hand

represent a collection of great originals, and not the sure forward progression
of a tradition. The sublimest tradition of all was the Gothic architecture to
c.1400. So powerful was the tradition that the idea of a work of art, which
pre-supposes a personality creating it, did not even exist.
But traditions like this are not confined to arts. Scholastic philosophy
represented the same superpersonal unity working itself out through many
personalities all in the service and development of a tradition. From
Roscellinus and Anselm through Thomas Aquinas to Gabriel Biel, the
problems and their complete exploitation are continuous. Each thinker,
regardless of his gifts, whether a man of genius, or merely a hard worker,
was trained by his predecessors and himself developed into his successors.
It was not the solutions, and not even always the questions which were
continuous — it was the method and thoroughness of investigation and
formulation which showed the presence of the tradition.
From Cromwell to Joseph Chamberlain — the beginning and the end
of that high political tradition which built the great British Empire, which at
its highest point exerted its control over 17/20th of the surface of this earth
— England was the example of the possibility of tradition in politics as well
as in philosophy, music, and the arts of form. How many men of political
genius appeared in the Premiership during these centuries? Only the two
Pitts. Nevertheless, England emerged from all the general wars of those
centuries with increased power — Thirty Years War, 1618–1648, Spanish
Succession War, 1702–1713, Austrian Succession Wars 1741–1763,
Napoleonic Wars, 1800–1815, Wars of German Unification, 1863–1871.
Only one serious blunder was made during these centuries, the loss of
America, 1775–1783. The essence of this tradition was nothing other than
applying only political thinking

to politics. Cromwell the theologian departed from this only occasionally,

and more in words and expressions of sympathy than in actions. His
successors in the tradition of Empire-building were not burdened with his
heavy theological equipment, which they transformed into cant, a word
translatable into no other European language. The technic of cant was what
enabled English diplomacy to score continued successes in the world of
facts, i.e., the world of violence, of cunning, of sin, while maintaining before
itself the attitude of selfless morality. To enrich the country by new
possession was thus “bringing civilization” to “backward” races. And so on,
through the whole gamut of political tactics.
Traditions show in this example one of their prime characteristics:
they are not efficacious unless profoundly mastered by the individuals. Thus
other European statesmen during the 19th century, the century of the
Anglicization of Europe, attempted to utilize cant and merely made
themselves ridiculous. Wilson, the American world-saver who modestly
offered himself as President of the World-as-Morality, went too far. A sure
tact was the prerequisite of successful employment of cant, and this required
for its mastery growing up in a cant-saturated atmosphere. In the same way
the Austrian officer corps — whose ethical qualities Napoleon missed in his
own officers — presupposed a life-long preparation and training in a certain
atmosphere, and not three months military training on the basis of an
“intelligence test.”
The great thing about a tradition is that the leader of the moment is not
alone — the qualities he lacks, and which the situation may need, are sure to
be present somewhere in the entourage. The presence of a political tradition
makes it extremely unlikely in the first place that an incompetent will be
placed in a position of high political authority, and if it does

happen that a weak personality arrives on the heights by chance, tradition

again makes his early departure certain. It might be supposed that this is
contradicted by the case of Lord North, but the initial blunders of his
American policy were only seen as such in retrospect. If he could have
followed them up with further strict measures, America would not have been
lost, but his domestic situation vis-à-vis the Whigs on the one hand and the
monarch on the other, was difficult in the extreme, and his policy was
hamstrung by the same type of Rationalist elements who were preaching
“Contract Social” and “Rights of Man” on the continent. On the contrary,
the successful avoidance of Revolution and Terror from the Wilkes affair in
mid-18th century through the horrors of ‘93, the general revolutionary waves
of 1830 and 1848, was attributable to the presence of an unimpaired
Tradition is not a rigid thing, a guarantee of certain results. Not at all,
for in History, it is the unexpected which happens. The imponderables make
their appearance. Incident plays counterpoint to Destiny. A slight gap may
appear also in a tradition, but the health of the tradition-bearing stratum
shows itself by quickly closing the opening. A tradition of statesmanship is
a sort of Platonic idea of excellence which molds men, as far as possible, in
each case, and serves as a form for their personal expression. The results are
shown by a high average of training and ability. Fortunate is the political
organism with such leadership! What is missed in one place is picked up in
another; individual quirks are not allowed to become political dogmas. The
last result of the presence of a tradition in a political unit is that Destiny is
kept on a sure path and Incident is minimized.


The name genius, describing a certain small stratum of humanity,

came into the effective vocabulary of the Western Culture only with the
advent of Humanism. The 20th century means by this word what Emerson
meant by “Representative Man,” or Carlyle by “Hero.” The comprehensive
delineation of the subject of Genius by Lange-Eichbaum, the distinguished
European scholar, has given the word its content for this age.
We no longer see genius under an aspect of causality or
predestination. This was the only way Materialism could understand the
word. Nietzsche pierced through this predestination idea of genius with his
aphorism: the higher the type a man represents, the greater is the
improbability that he will succeed, because of the increased diversity and
difficulty of his life-conditions. The word genius thus has acquired through
the centuries a large objective content, and has come self-evidently to
contain within it the idea of fame.
If the word were to be used purely subjectively, it would describe
simply a man with great creative force. There are

always some of these men at work, but their creative efforts may be in any
of the various directions of Culture. The test of creative force has come to
be success, namely the personal success of the man in translating his
personal potentialities into creation, whether of thought or deed. Not
absolute success is meant, for this would exclude nearly all men. Neither
Wallenstein, Cromwell, Napoleon, or the Hero that we have seen, attained
absolute success. The success of each was however personal, in the sense
that posterity can read his name in the skies at night.
It is the Spirit of the Age which influences greatly the direction of the
creative ability of men of genius. Thus in the Gothic religious time, many
men of genius became religionists, philosophers, saints and martyrs. In the
Enlightenment, men of genius appeared as artists and universal men. In the
time of Civilization men of genius appear mostly in the externalized pursuits
of technics, economics, politics and war. All tendencies exist in all ages, but
in each age one Idea is uppermost. High politics is appropriate in every age
and in the coming age it is the leading Idea. In our times, and the next times,
the men of creative force will be found largely concentrated in the service of
the Resurgence of Authority.
The crass stupidity of Rationalism and Materialism was nowhere
more perfectly in evidence than in its attempt to make the word genius into
an intelligence term. Naive “tests” were even devised to detect the presence
of “genius,” which could be shown by a number. In the Age of Materialism,
there was no scruple about weighing and numbering the faculties of the
Soul. The fact is that intelligence is the functional opposite of Genius.
Intelligence is dissection, genius is creation; one is analysis, the other is
synthesis; the first is directed toward the Part, the second toward the Whole.
They are related as terrestrial and astral, counting and imagining.

It must be said that while Genius is great creative force, each man has
some creative force, enough to make of his own life such a work that those
who come after him need never be ashamed of him.
The interest of the 20th century is in politics, and hence the
significance of Genius in this sphere will be examined here. It is best
understood by comparison with Tradition in politics. Tradition secures the
steady fulfillment of the Idea by training up the available talent to a high
average level. It is superior to Genius as a vehicle for the actualization of an
Idea, for the life span of the Tradition is also the life span of the Idea, while
Genius is allotted only the usual three score and ten. The passing of Genius
leaves a gap, but the Tradition only passes with the fulfillment of the Idea
itself. In the larger sense, Cromwell is the beginning of the English national
political tradition. Yet, in a narrower, personal sense, he did not found a
tradition, for after his death, it was but a matter of months before the
Dynasty was back, and Cromwell’s body was exhumed and dragged through
the streets of London by wild horses. But when once the English political
tradition was founded in the Cromwellian spirit, it lasted right through to
Joseph Chamberlain. What is Genius in politics? How does it manifest
itself in this realm? In one thing simply: it represents the Idea of the Future.
If one were to state the relation to the Present of the masses, a Tradition, and
Genius, he would say that the masses are always behind the Present, the
Tradition is alert at each moment adjusting to the Future, but the Genius
represents the Promethean thrusting into the Future with unleashed force.
Genius is dependent for its actualization on the appreciation of the
Culture-bearing stratum, or nation-bearing stratum. Talent can understand
anything that Genius can imagine or create, once it is actualized, but Genius
always impresses at first

as fantastic. Alexander the Great, Frederick the Great, Cromwell, Napoleon,

the Hero of this age, all impressed most people at the beginning of their
careers, as being unworldly, out of touch with Reality. There was some
justification for this, for they were in touch with a new world, the next
In this connection, the use of the word Present is only a figure of
speech. Actually, there is no Present in the world of politics: the Present is
simply the point of tension between Past and Future. Genius in politics
belongs always on the side of the Future. Genius is great creative force; in
the realm of action, creation is of deeds; deeds are the form of the
actualization of the Future.
At the very beginning of the Civilization period of the Western
Culture, two extraordinary men stand opposed, Napoleon and Metternich.
Only the Empire-builder had genius; his opponent, though equal in political
skill, in assessment of the “realities” of the time, and in force of character,
was a mere conserver, a servant of the Past. The “realities” he cognized
were those of the immediately previous Reality, not those of the coming
Reality. It is Genius of Napoleon’s kind that occasionally appears and
delivers the new Spirit of the Age, the new Reality. Talent of Metternich’s
kind lacks the vision of the Genius, and it is solely accidental whether or not
he opposes him. If Metternich had been a Frenchman, he would have been a
Minister of Napoleon.
What precisely are the qualities of Genius in politics, which constitute
its maestria and its inner imperative? First, vision. It sees the possibilities of
the Future, and its mind is thereby freed from the trammels which hinder the
average man in his thinking. To the prosaic mind, everything which is,
represents the end of all development, the Future is to be a mere extension of
the Past. Second, spiritual purity: the ordinary man is an eclectic; he carries
in his head hundreds of contradictory ideas

and beliefs. Not so the creative man in politics: he thinks along one line, and
one line only. This gives to his enemies the opportunity of convincing many
that he is mentally ill, and they have never failed to do so, from Alexander to
the Hero we have seen. But political Genius and its enemies pass into two
different categories of History. His name is written in bronze letters as the
symbol, meaning, apotheosis, and incarnation of the Spirit of his Age; his
enemies turn out on this high plane to have been merely the material with
which he hewed his deeds. Third, intensity: the voice of Genius commands;
it is harsh, intolerant. It demands and impels upward. Genius is inseparable
from the presence of a rushing inner chaos, the prerequisite of formative
work. Under a Frederick, or a Charles XII, men will overcome tactical odds
of 5-to-1, strategical odds of 30-to-1. But not under Laudon, or the
Archduke Charles, or a Grant. These latter need crushing superiority to
make up for their inner lack.
Fourth, the sense of a Mission. This vision, purity, and intensity are
all brought into an ethical focus: the things which he sees are stamped with
Necessity, and he must actualize them. This accounts for the powerfully
dramatic influence of a political Genius upon the facts of History. His
forceful mission compels everyone to orient himself to it. Everyone is either
with him or against him. He becomes the center of the world.
Lastly, an Imponderable. Genius is Life at its highest human
potential, and all Life is uncanny, irrational, mysterious. There is something
about Genius that makes men rise spiritually. It is the Something that gave
Napoleon victory on almost every field, that sat like an eagle on the shoulder
of Moltke, as he worked quietly at his task of shaping the form of the 20th
and 21st centuries. It may be merely the personality accompanying these
extraordinary gifts. It may be a transcendental emanation from the higher
organism — it is unknowable, but it is there.

Genius and the Age of Absolute Politics

There can be no question that a Tradition, which makes use of the

ever-present talent of the successive generations, is superior to Genius for
the purpose of actualizing an Idea in its perfection. But the Idea will be
actualized without either of them; their presence, together or separate,
affects only the rhythmic sureness and external purity of the Life-process.
The soul of each Culture is an organism, and therefore possesses the
mark of individuality. This is stamped on everything connected with the
Culture, including its History-style. Just as persons differ in their way of
expressing themselves — one man forceful and imperious, another quiet, but
equally effective — so do High Cultures. The Classical offers a strong
contrast to our own in this. Its historical style, in comparison with ours, is
one of Incident. Accents are not sharp, transitions are not conscious, or
marked by the intensely formed turning-points of the Western history.
While their men of genius were not fewer, Genius played a smaller role in
the working-out. Genius was the focus of less force.
Western nations have also seen great developments which

were unaccompanied by the phenomenon of direction of the whole Idea on

to one man. For instance, the German Wars of Liberation, 1813–1815,
England’s transition to Democracy, 1750–1800.
But in the middle of the 20th century we see about us the wreckage of
the two centuries of Rationalism: the high old traditions of the West have
been mostly destroyed. The horizontal war of the banker and the class-
warrior against the Western Civilization have laid the old quality low. But
History has not stopped, and the greatest imperative of all in the political
sphere is now operative. A new quality-tradition is arising. As the
philosopher of this age has said, there are no longer in the world any sacred
forms of political existence whose very age is an unassailable power.
Since an effective Tradition is absent in the political realm of the
Western Civilization, we may expect that the Western demand for sharp
accents in History will repose gigantic forces in the hands of individual men.
The Hero whom we have seen was a symbol of the Future.
History does not stop; no one man is more important than History.
The relationship of political Genius to the mass was misread by 19th century
Materialism, and also by Nietzsche. Materialism regarded the great
politician as bound to work for the — of course — material improvement of
the mass. Nietzsche regarded the masses as existing only to produce the
great men. But the idea of purpose cannot describe the process as it is.
Apart from all ideology, the great man and the masses are a unity, both are
in the service of the Idea, and each finds his historical significance only with
regard to the counter-pole. Carlyle voiced the instinctive demand of this age
when the idea of authority and monarchy has once again a good conscience:
find the Ablest Man, and let him be king.

Democratic ideologists, with their heads buried deep in the sand, say
that maybe a bad monarch will appear. But the imperative of History is not
to produce a perfect system, but to fulfill the historical mission. It was this
that produced Democracy and it is this that now pays no attention to the
whining of the Past, but only to be the rumble of the Future. Good or bad,
the monarchs are coming.
On the front of the tottering edifice is printed in gaudy letters:
Democracy. But behind it is seen to be a cash-till, and the banker sits,
running his hands through the money that was the blood of the Western
nations. He looks up in terror, as the sound of marching feet is heard.
The Future of the West demands the committing of great forces into
the hands of great men. The erection of a Tradition of politics is a hope;
from the chaos of 1950 there is no hope. Only great men can bridge the gap.

Race, People, Nation, State

The 19th century concepts of race, people, nation, and State are
exclusively of Rationalistic-Romantic provenance. They are the result of
imposing a thought method adapted to material problems on to living things,
and thus they are materialistic Materialistic means shallow as applied to
living things, for with all Life, the spirit is primary, and the material is the
mere vehicle of spiritual expression. Since these 19th century concepts were
rationalistic, they were basically unfactual, for Life is irrational, unamenable
to inorganic logic and systematization. The Age upon which we are
entering, and of which this is a formulation, is an Age of Politics, and hence
an age of facts.
The broader subject is the adaptation, health and pathology of High
Cultures. Their relationship to every type of human grouping is a
prerequisite to examining the last problems of Cultural Vitalism. The nature
of these groupings will therefore be looked at without preconceptions, with a
view to reaching their deepest meanings, origin, life, and inter-connections.
Material inanimate objects retain their identity through the

years, and thus the type of thinking suited to dealing with material things
assumed that the political and other human groupings in existence in 1800
represented something a priori, something of the very essence of permanent
reality. Everything was regarded as a creation of one of these “peoples.”
This applied to the arts of form, literature, State, technics, culture generally.
This view is not in accordance with historical facts.
The first concept in order is Race. The materialistic race-thinking of
the 19th century had particularly heavy consequences for Europe when it
was coupled with one of the early 20th century movements of Resurgence of
Any excrescence of theoretical equipment on a political movement is
a luxury, and the Europe of 1933–2000 can afford none such. Europe has
paid dearly for this Romantic concern with old-fashioned racial theories, and
they must be destroyed.


Race has two meanings, which will be taken in order, and then their
relative importance in an Age of Absolute Politics will be shown. The first
meaning is an objective one, the second subjective.
The succession of human generations, related by blood, have the clear
tendency to remain fixed in a landscape. Nomadic tribes wander within
larger, but equally definite, bounds. Within this landscape the forms of plant
and animal life have local characteristics, different from transplantations of
the same strains and stocks in other landscapes.
The anthropological studies of the 19th centuries uncovered a
mathematically presentable fact which affords a good starting-point to show
the influence of the soil. It was discovered that for any given inhabited area
of the world there was an average

cephalic index of the population. More important, it was learned, through

measurements on immigrants to America from every part of Europe, and
then on their children born in America, that this cephalic index adheres to
the soil, and immediately makes itself manifest in the new generation. Thus
long-headed Jews from Sicily, and short-headed ones from Germany,
produced offspring with the same average head measurement, the
specifically American one. Bodily size and span of growth were two other
characteristics in which all types whatever in America, Indians, Negroes,
white men, were found to have the same average, regardless of average size
and growth-span of the countries or stocks from which they came. In the
case of immigrant Irish children, coming from a country of a very long
growth-span, the response to the local influence was immediate.
From these and other facts, both comparatively new and of ancient
observation, it is apparent that the landscape exerts an influence on the
human stocks within its bounds as well as on the plant and animal life. The
technic of this influence is beyond our ken. The source of it we do know. It
is the cosmic unity of the totality of things, a unity which shows itself in the
rhythmic and cyclic movement of Nature. Man does not stand out of this
unity, but is submerged in it. His duality of human soul and Beast-of-prey is
also a unity. We separate him thus to understand him, but this cannot
disturb his unity. Nor by separating in our thoughts the aspects of Nature
can we destroy its unity. The moon cycle stands in a relationship to many
human phenomena, of which we can know only what, but never how. All
movement whatever in Nature is rhythmic — the movement of streams and
waves, of winds and currents, of appearance and disappearance of living
individuals, of species, of Life itself.

Man partakes of these rhythms. His particular structure gives these

rhythms their peculiarly human form. The side of his nature that expresses
this connection is Race. Race in a man is the plane of his being which
stands in relationship to plant and animal life, and beyond them, to the great
macrocosmic rhythms. It is, so to speak, the part of Man that is generalized
into, absorbed into the All, rather than his soul, which defines his species,
and sets him off from all other forms of existence.
Life manifests itself in the four forms: Plant, Animal, Man, High
Culture. Distinct though each is, yet it is related to all the others. The
animals, subject as they are to the soil, retain thus in their being a plane of
plantlike existence. Race is the expression of the plant-like and also of the
animal-like in Man. The High Culture, by being fixed for its duration to a
landscape, retains also a connection with the plant world, no matter how
defiant and free-moving are its proud creations. Its high politics and great
wars are an expression of the animal and human in its nature.
Some of the totality of human characteristics are soil-determined,
others are stock-determined. Pigmentation is one of the latter, and survives
transplantation to other areas. It is not possible to list all of even the
physical characteristics according to such a scheme, for the data has not been
gathered. But even so, it would not matter to our purpose, for the most
important element also in the objective meaning of race is the spiritual.
Some stocks are undoubtedly more highly endowed than others in
certain spiritual directions. Spiritual qualities are as diverse as physical
qualities. Not only average height of body varies, but also average height of
soul. Not only skull-shape and stature are soil-determined, but so must be
some spiritual properties. It is impossible to believe that a cosmic influence
which puts its mark on human bodies passes over the essence,

the soul. But so thoroughly mixed have all the stocks been, or so repeatedly
skimmed by History, that we can never know original soul-qualities of
landscapes. Of the racial qualities of a given population on the spiritual side,
we can never know which are soil-bound, and which have been produced by
the amalgamation of stocks through the generations. To a practical century
like this, and the next, origins and explanations are less important than facts
and possibilities. Therefore our next concern must be with race as a
practical reality rather than with its metaphysics.
To what race does a man belong? We know at first glance, but
exactly what sign tells us this cannot be materially explained. It is
accessible only to the feelings, the instincts, and does not yield itself to the
scale and balance of physical science.
We have seen that race is connected with landscape and with stock.
Its outer manifestation is a certain, typical expression, a play of features, a
cast of countenance. There are no rigid physical indicia of this expression,
but this does not affect its existence, but solely the method of understanding
it. Within wide limits, a primitive population in a landscape has a similar
look. But closer scrutiny will be able to find local refinements, and these
again will branch down into tribes, clans, families, and finally individuals.
Race, in the objective sense, is the spirituo-biological community of a group.
Thus races cannot be classified, other than arbitrarily. The
materialistic 19th century produced several classifications of this arbitrary
kind. The only characteristics used were, of course, purely material ones.
Thus, skull-form, was the basis of one, hair and speech type of another,
nose-shape and pigmentation of another. This was at best mere group
anatomy, but did not approach race.
Human beings living in contact with one another influence

one another, and thus approach one another. This applies to individuals,
where it has been noted through the ages in the fact that an old married
couple come to resemble one another physically, and it applies to groups as
well. What is called the “assimilation” of one group by another is not at all
merely the result of commingling of germ-plasm, as materialism thought.
It is mostly the result of spiritual influence of the assimilating group
on the newcomers, which is natural and complete when there are no strong
barriers between the groups. The lack of barriers leads to the disappearance
of the racial boundary and thereafter a new race is present, the amalgamation
of the two previous ones. The stronger one is influenced usually but
slightly, but there are various possibilities here, and an examination of them
belongs properly to a subsequent place.


We have seen that race, objectively used, describes a relationship

between a population and a landscape, and is essentially an expression of
cosmic beat. Its prime visible manifestation is the look, but this invisible
reality expresses itself in other ways. To the Chinese, for instance, smell is a
hall-mark of race. Certainly audible things, speech, song, laughter, also
have racial significance. Susceptibility to disease is another racially-
differentiated phenomenon. The Japanese, Americans, and Negroes have
three different degrees of resistance to tuberculosis. American medical
statistics show that Jews have more nervous disease, more diabetes, and less
tuberculosis than the Americans, and that in fact the incidence of any one
disease shows a different figure for the Jews. Gesture, gait, dress, are not
without racial significance.
But the face is the great visible sign of race. We do not

know what it is that conveys race in the physiognomy, and attempts to reach
it by statistics and measurements must fail. This fact has caused Liberals
and other materialists to deny that race exists. This incredible doctrine came
from America, which is veritably a large-scale racial laboratory. This
doctrine really only amounts to a confession of total inability of Rationalism
and scientific method to understand Race or subject it to order of the type of
the physical sciences, and this inability was known before by those who
have clung to facts and resisted anti-factual theories. Suppose that a man
were to familiarize himself thoroughly with the measurements — length of
nose, brows, chin, width of brow, jaws, mouth, etc. — of every face he knew
until he could fairly well say from a new face what its measurements would
be. If he were then given a set of measurements merely written down as
such, does anyone think that even such a specially trained person could form
any idea in his mind of the racial expression of the face from which the
measurements were taken? Of course not, and the same is true of any other
expression of race.
Another important objective aspect of race finds an analogy in the
fashions of female physiognomy which come and go in a Late urban
civilization. When a given female type is held up as an ideal, it is a fact that
the kind of woman who is sensitive to this sort of thing very soon develops
the facial expression of this type. In the domain of Race a similar
phenomenon exists. Given a race with a certain, distinct cosmic beat, its
members develop automatically an instinct for racial beauty which affects
the choice of mates and also works on each individual soul from within, so
that this double impetus forms the racial type pointing toward a certain
ideal. This instinct for racial beauty, needless to say, has no connection with
the decadent erotic-cults of the Hollywood type. Such ideals are purely

and have no connection with Race. Race, being an expression of the cosmic,
is informed throughout with the urge to continuity, and a racially ideal
woman is always thought of, quite unconsciously, as the potential mother of
strong sons. The racially ideal man is the master who will enrich the life of
the woman who secures him as the father of her children. The degenerate
eroticism of the Hollywood type is anti-racial: its root-idea is not Life-
continuity, but pleasure, with the woman as the object of pleasure, and the
man as the slave of this object.
This striving of a race towards its own physical type is one of the
great facts with which one cannot tamper by trying to substitute ideals of
amalgamation with types totally alien, as Liberalism and Communism tried
to do during the reign of Rationalism.
Race cannot be understood if it is inwardly associated with
phenomena from other planes of life, such as nationality, politics, people,
State, Culture. While History in its advance may bring about for a few
centuries a strong relationship between race and nation, that is not to say that
a preceding racial type always forms a subsequent political unit. If that were
so, none of the former nations of Europe would have been formed on the
lines they were. For example, think of the racial differences between
Calabrian and Lombard. What did they matter to the history of Garibaldi’s
This brings us to the most important phase of the objective meaning of
Race in this age: History narrows or widens the limits of race-determinacy.
The way this is done is through the spiritual element in Race. Thus a group
with spiritual and historical community tends to acquire also a racial aspect.
The community of which its higher nature partakes is transmitted downward
to the lower, cosmic part of the human nature. Thus in Western history the
early nobility tended to constitute itself

as a race to complement its unity on the spiritual side. The extent to which
this proceeded is still apparent wherever historical continuity of the early
nobility has been maintained to the present day. An important example of
this is the creation of the Jewish race that we now know in the millennium of
ghetto-existence in Europe. Leaving to one side for the moment the
different world-outlook and culture of the Jew, this sharing by a group,
whatever the basis of its original formation as such, of a common fate for
centuries will hammer it into a race as well as a spiritual-historical unit.
Race influences History by supplying its material, its treasures of
blood, honor, and strong instincts. History in turn influences Race by giving
to units of high history a racial stamp as well as their spiritual one. Race is a
lower plane of existence, in the sense that it is closer to the cosmic, more in
touch with the primitive yearnings and urges of Life in general. History is
the higher plane of existence where the specifically human, and above that,
the High Cultural, represent the differentiation of forms of Life.
The method of racialization of an historical unit, as the Western
nobilities were racialized, is through the inevitable cosmic rising in such a
group of an ideal physical type, and the instinct for racial beauty, which
work together through the germ-plasm and inwardly in each soul to give this
group its own look, that individualizes it in the stream of history. Once this
community of fate departs, through the vicissitudes of History, this race
vanishes also, never to appear again.


From this point the fundamental misunderstanding of the 19th century

materialistic interpretation of race appears clear and distinct:

Race is not group anatomy;

Race is not independent of the soil;
Race is not independent of Spirit and History;
Races are not classifiable, except on an arbitrary basis;
Race is not a rigid, permanent, collective characterization of human
beings, which remains always the same throughout history.
The 20th century outlook, based on facts, and not on the
preconceptions of physics and mechanics, sees Race as fluid, gliding with
History over the fixed skeletal form determined by the soil. Just as History
comes and goes, so does Race with it, bound in a symbiosis of happening.
The peasants now tilling the soil near Persepolis are of the same race as
those who planted or roamed there a thousand years before Darius,
regardless of what they were called then, or what they are called now, and in
the time between, a High Culture fulfilled itself in this area, creating races
now gone for ever.
This last error — the confusing of names with unities of history or
race — was one of the most destructive made by 19th century materialism.
Names belong to the surface of history, not to its rhythmic, cosmic side. If
the present-day inhabitants of Greece have the same collective name that the
population of the same area had in Aristotle’s time, is anyone deceived into
thinking that there is historical continuity? Or racial continuity? Names,
like languages, have their own destinies and these destinies are independent
of others. Thus from the common language, it should not be inferred that
the inhabitants of Haiti and those of Quebec have a common origin, but this
result would occur of necessity if 19th century methods were applied to the
present, which we know, as well as to interpretation of the past from left-
over names and languages. The inhabitants of Yucatan to-day are racially
the same as in 100 A.D.,

even though they now speak Spanish, and then spoke a now-vanished
tongue, even though they have a different name now from then. In between
occurred the rise, fulfillment and wiping out of a High Culture, but after its
passing, Race became once more the primeval, simple relationship between
stock and landscape. There was no high History to influence it, or for it to
In the time of the Egyptian Culture, a people called the Libyans gave
their name to an area. Does that mean that whoever inhabits this are from
then on related to them? The Prussians in the year 1000 A.D. were an extra-
European people. In 1700 the name Prussia described a nation in the
Western style. Western conquerors merely acquired the name of the tribes
they displaced. That which went under the various names of Ostrogoths,
Visigoths, Jutes, Varangians, Saxons, Vandals, Norsemen, Danes, came
from the same racial material, but the names do not show it. Sometimes a
group gives its name to an area, so that after it is displaced, the old name
passes to the conquering group; this was the case of Prussia and Britain.
Sometimes a group takes its name from an area, like the Americans.
As far as the Race-History symbiosis is concerned, names are
accidental. They do not indicate any sort of inward continuity by
themselves. The same is true of language.
Once the idea is grasped that what we call history really means High
History, that this is the history of High Cultures, and that these High
Cultures are organic unities expressing their inner possibilities in the profuse
forms of thought and happening which lie before us, a deep understanding
follows of the way in which History uses whatever human material lies to
hand for its fulfillment. It puts its impress on this material by creating
historical units out of groups hitherto often very

iverse biologically. The historical unity, in harmony with cosmic rhythms

governing all Life from plant to Culture, acquires its own racial unity, a new
racial unity, removed, by its spirituo-historical content from the former,
primitive, simple relationship between stock and soil. But with the departure
of High History the fulfillment of the Culture, the spiritual-historical content
recedes forever, and the primitive harmony resumes its dominant position.
The previous, biological, history of the groups taken by a High
Culture play no role in this process. Previous names of indigenous tribes,
previous wanderings, linguistic equipment — none have any meaning for
high History, once it sets upon its course. It starts, so to speak, from a clean
slate. But it remains this way also, in its ability to take in whatever elements
enter into its spirit. New elements, however, can bring nothing to the
Culture — it is a higher individuality, and thus has its own unity, which
cannot even be influenced, other than superficially, by an organism of
equivalent rank, and a fortiori cannot be changed in the slightest in its inner
nature by any human group. Thus any group coming within the area of a
Culture is either within the spirit of the Culture, or without it — there is no
third alternative.
Organic alternatives are always only two: Life or Death, sickness or
health, forward development or distortion. When the organism is put off its
true path by external influences, crisis is bound to follow, crisis which will
affect the entire life of the Culture, and will often involve the destiny of
millions in confusion and catastrophe. But this is an anticipation.
The objective meaning of race has other aspects important to a 20th
century outlook. It has been seen that races — meaning here primitive
groupings, simple relationships between soil and human stock — have
different gifts for historical purposes.

We have seen that Race influences History as well as the converse. We

come to the hierarchy of races.

The materialists could, of course, not succeed with all their attempts
to make an anatomical classification of races. But races can be classified
according to functional abilities, starting from any given function whatever.
Thus a hierarchy of races can be based on physical strength, and there is
little doubt that the Negro would stand at the top of such a hierarchy. There
would however be no point in such a hierarchy, because physical strength is
not the essence of human nature in general, and even less of Culture-man in
The fundamental impulse of human nature — above the instincts
toward self-preservation and sex, which man shares with other Life-forms —
is the will-to-power. Very seldom is there any struggle for existence among
men. Such struggles as do occur are nearly always for control, for power.
These take place within couples and families, clans, tribes, and among
peoples, nations, States. Therefore the basing of a hierarchy of races on
strength of will-to-power has a relation to historical realities.
Such a hierarchy can have, of course, no eternal validity. Thus the
school of Gobineau, Chamberlain, Osbom and Grant was on the same
tangent as the materialists who announced that there is no such thing as
Race, because they could not discover it with their methods. The mistake of
the former was to assume the permanence — backwards and forwards — of
races existing in their time. They were treating races as building-blocks,
original material, and ignoring the connections of Race and History, Race
and Spirit, Race and Destiny. But at least

they recognized the existing racial realities of their time, their sole mistake
consisting in regarding these realities as rigid, existing rather than becoming.
There was also in their approach a remnant of genealogical thinking, but this
sort of thinking is intellectual and not historical, for History uses the human
material at hand without questioning its antecedents, and in the process of
using it, this human material is placed in relation to the vast, mystical force
of Destiny. This remainder of genealogical thinking tended to create
divisions in thought between Culture-peoples corresponding to no divisions
in actuality. The further materialistic tendency developed to extend the
principles of heredity which Mendel had worked out for certain plants to the
subject of human Race. Such a tendency was doomed to be fruitless, and
after almost a century of barren results, it must be abandoned in favor of the
20th century outlook which approaches History and its materials in the
historical spirit and not in the scientific spirit of mechanics or geology.
Nevertheless the school of Gobineau at least started from a fact, and
this brings it much closer to Reality than the learned fools who looked up
from their rulers and charts to announce the demise of Race.
This fact was the hierarchy of races for Cultural purposes. In their
day the word “culture” was used to designate literature and the fine arts as
distinct from the ugly, brutal things like economics, technics, war and
politics. Hence the center of gravity of these theories was on the side of
intellect rather than on the side of the soul. With the coming of the 20th
century outlook, and the clearing from the air of all Materialistic-Romantic
theories, the unity of Culture was perceived through all its various
manifestations of arts, philosophy, religion, science, technics, politics, State-
forms, race-forms, War. Therefore

the hierarchy of races in this century is one based on degree of will-to-

This classification of races is also arbitrary, from the intellectual
standpoint, just as much as one based on physical strength. It is, however,
the only one suitable for us in this age.
Nor is it rigid, for the vicissitudes of History are more important in
this realm than heredity-transmitted qualities. There is to-day no Hindu
race, although there once was. This name is a product of accomplished
history, and corresponds to no racial group. Nor is there a Basque race, a
Breton race, a Hessian race, an Andalusian race, Bavarian race, Austrian
race. Similarly, races existing to-day in our Western Civilization will also
disappear with the advance of history over them.
The source of a hierarchy of races is History, the forces of happening.
Thus when we see a European population, with its own racial stamp, the
English, hold down a population of hundreds of millions of Asiatics for two
centuries with only a handful of its own troops, as the English did India, we
call that race one with a high degree of will-to-power. During the 19th
century, amid 300,000,000 Asiatics, England had a tiny garrison of 65,000
white troops.
The mere numbers would mislead if we did not know that England
was a nation in the service of a High Culture and India a mere landscape
with primitive millions teeming in it, a landscape that had been also at one
time the area of a High Culture such as our own, but had long since returned
to its pre-Cultural primitivity within the ruins and monuments of the past.
Knowing this, we know thereby that the source of this stern will-to-power is
at least partially in the force of the Destiny of the Culture of which England
was an expression.
When we see a race like the Spanish send forth two bands like those
of Cortez and Pizarro, and read of their accomplishments,

we know we are in the presence of a race with high willpower. With a

hundred-odd men, Pizzaro set out to overcome an empire of millions. The
project of Cortez was of a like boldness — and both achieved military
success. It is not a slave race that can do such things. Aztec and Inca were
no raceless populations, but were themselves the vehicle of another High
Culture, a fact which makes these exploits almost incredible.
The French race in the time of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic
Wars was in the service of a Cultural idea, the mission of changing the
whole direction from Culture to Civilization, of opening the Age of
Rationalism. The enormous force which this living idea lent to the armies of
France is shown by the 20-year succession of military victories over all the
armies that repeated coalitions of all Europe could throw against them.
Under Napoleon’s personal command, they achieved victory in more than
145 out of 150 engagements. A race equal to such a test was one of high
In each of these cases, the race was one created by History. In such a
unit, the word race contains the two elements: the stock-landscape
relationship, and the spiritual community of history and Cultural idea. They
are, so to speak, stratified: beneath is the strong, primitive beat of the cosmic
rhythm in a particular stock; above is the molding, creating, driving Destiny
of a High Culture.
When Charles of Anjou beheaded Conradin, the last Hohenstaufen
Emperor, in 1267 Germany disappeared from Western history, as a unit with
political significance, for 500 years, reappearing in the 18th century in the
double form of Austria and Prussia. During these centuries, the high history
of Europe was made by other powers mostly with their own blood. This
meant that — in comparison with the vast expenditure of blood over the
generations of the others — Germany was spared.

To understand the significance of this fact, we must go back to the

purely biological origin of races of Europe.


The primeval population-streams which came out of the North of the

Eurasiatic land-mass from 2000 B.C. right down to 1000 A.D. — and after
— were probably of related stock. Barbarians called Cassites conquered the
remains of the Babylonian Culture, about 1700 B.C. The next century
Northern barbarians called Hyksos by the Egyptians threw themselves at the
ruins of the Egyptian Civilization and subjected it to their rule. In India, the
Aryans, also a Northern barbarian horde conquered the Indian Culture. The
populations which appeared in Europe over the millennium and a half
ending 1000 A.D. under the various names. Franks, Angles, Goths, Saxons,
Celts, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Lombards, Belgae, Norsemen, Northmen,
Vikings, Danes, Varangians, Germani, Alemani, Teutones — and other
names — are all of similar stock. It is very probable that the conquerors of
the older Civilizations eastward were of similar stock with the Western
barbarians who threatened Rome for centuries and finally sacked it. The
great sign of this stock was blondness. Wherever to-day blonde traits are
found, elements of this Northern stock have at some past time found their
way. These Northern barbarians conquered the indigenous populations of all
Europe, constituting themselves an upper stratum, supplying the leadership,
fighting-men, and laws, wherever they went. Thus they represented the
ruling-stratum in the territories now known as Spain, Italy, France,
Germany, England. Their numerical proportion was greater in some places
than in others, and with the arising of the Western Culture, c. 1000 A.D., it
was on this strong-willed primitive stratum that the

idea took hold. From having been the conqueror of fulfilled Civilizations,
this stock now was itself selected to fulfill the Destiny of a High Culture.
That which distinguished this primitive biological population-stream
is its strong will. It is also this strong will — and not only the inner Idea of
the Culture itself — that contributes to Western history the unique
forcefulness of its manifestations in all directions of thought and action.
Think of the Vikings, in the gray dawn of our history reaching America from
Europe in their tiny ships! This is the sort of human material which
contributed its blood to the Western races, peoples and nations. It is to this
treasure of being that the West owes its prowess on the battlefield — and
this fact is known all over the world, whether it is theoretically denied, or
not. Ask any general in any army whether he would rather have under his
command a division of soldiers recruited from Pomerania, or a division of
Unhappily for the West, the Russian populations contain also a strong
strain of this Northern barbarian stock. It is not in the service of a High
Culture, but stands to us as did the Gauls to Republican and Imperial Rome.
Race is material for events, and it is available to the will-to-annihilate as
freely as it is to the will-to-create. The Northern barbarian stock in Russia is
still barbarian, and its negative mission has given it its own racial stamp.
History has created a Russian race, which is steadily widening its racial
boundaries by taking up into it and impressing with its historical mission of
destruction the population-streams of its vast territory.
In the hierarchy of races based on will-to-power, the new Russian race
stands high. This race needs no moralistic propaganda to fan its militancy.
Its barbarian instincts are there, and can be relied on by its leaders.

Because of the fluid nature of Race, even the hierarchy of races based
on will-to-power cannot succeed in ordering all races now existing. For
instance, would the Sikhs stand above the Senghalese, or below, the
American Negroes above or below the Aymara Indians? But the whole
purpose of understanding the varying degrees of will-to-power in different
races is a practical one, and applies in the first instance to our own Western
Civilization. Can this knowledge be used? The answer is that not only it
can, but it must be, if the West is to live out its life span and not to pass into
slavery to Asiatic annihilation-hordes under the leadership of Russia, Japan,
or some other militant race.

Before this information can be applied with full insight and with no danger
of old-fashioned misunderstanding, the subjective meaning of Race must be
examined, and beyond it the ideas connoted by the terms People, Nation and

Subjective Meaning of Race

Race, as has been shown, is not a unit of existence, but is an aspect of

existence. Specifically it is the aspect of existence in which the relation of
the human being to the great cosmic rhythms is revealed. It is thus the non-
individual aspect of Life, whether it be the life of a plant, animal, or human
The plant exhibits — at least, not to us — no consciousness, i.e., no
tension with its environment. The plant has thus only race, so to speak, for it
is totally submerged in the cosmic flow. The animal exhibits tension,
consciousness, individuality. Man has in addition self-consciousness and the
ability and necessity of living a higher life in the realm of symbols. All men
have this, but the difference in degree between primitive man and Culture-
man in this respect is so vast that it seems almost a difference in kind.
It is the racial beat which informs primitive impulses, which informs
action generally. Opposed to it is the illuminated part of the mind, the
rootless reason, the intellect. The stronger

these things are in relation to the racial plane, the more the existence bears
an intellectual instead of a racial stamp.
Each individual, as well as each higher organic unit, has these two
aspects. Race impels toward self-preservation, continuance of the cycle of
generations, increase of power. Intellect decides the meaning of the Life,
and the aim, and this may, for various reasons, deny one or all of these
fundamental urges. The celibacy of the priest and the sterility of the
libertine both come from intellect, but one of them is an expression of High
Culture, and the other is the denial of Culture, an expression of total
degeneracy. Intellect may thus be in the service of Culture, or opposed to it.
Race is, in the first instance in its subjective sense what a man feels.
This influences, whether immediately or eventually, what he does. A man of
race is not born to slavery. If his intellect counsel him to a temporary
submission, rather than an heroic death, in the hope of future changes, it is a
mere postponement of his breaking out. The man without race will submit
permanently to any humiliation, any insult, any dishonor, so long as he is
permitted to live. The continuance of breathing and digestion are Life to the
man without race. To the man of race, Life itself represents no value, but
only Life under the right conditions, affirmative Life, rich, expressive and
Heroism can be motivated from either side of the soul: the martyr dies
for the Truth which he knows, the fighting man who dies with weapons in
his hands rather than submit to his enemies dies for the honor that he feels.
But the man who dies for something higher shows that he has race,
regardless of his intellectualized motives. For Race is the faculty of being
true to one’s self. It is the placing of a beyond-value on one’s own
individual soul.
In this subjective sense, Race is not the way one talks, looks,

gestures, walks, it is not a matter of stock, color, anatomy, skeletal structure,

or anything else objective. Men of Race are scattered through all
populations everywhere, through all races, peoples, nations. In each unit
they make up the warriors, the leaders of action, the creators in the sphere of
politics and war.
Thus in the subjective sense, there is also a hierarchy of race. Above
the men of race, below — those without race. The first are swept up into
action and events by the great cosmic rhythm of motion, the second are
passed over by History. The first are the materials of high History, the
second have outlasted every Culture, and when the stillness resumes its sway
over the landscape after the whirlwind of events, these are the great mass.
The Chinese mothers counsel their children with the ancient admonition:
“Make thy heart small.” This is the wisdom of the man without race, and of
the race without will. The men of race are skimmed off every population
that is caught up into the course of motion of a High Culture, and this
process continues through the generations of History on the heights. What is
left is the fellaheen.
Race in the subjective sense is thus seen to be a matter of instinct.
The man with strong instincts has race, the man with weak or bad instincts
has it not. Strength of intellect has nothing to do with the existence of race
— it may merely, in some cases, such as that of the man who takes a vow of
celibacy — influence the expression of a part of race. Strong intellect and
strong instincts can co-exist — think of the Gothic bishops who led their
flocks to war — they are merely opposed directions of thought and action,
but it is the instincts that furnish the driving force for great intellectual
accomplishments also. The center of gravity of ascendant Life is on the side
of instinct, will, race, blood. Life which places rationalistic ideals of

“happiness,” “freedom” before the perpetuation and increase of power is

decadent. Decadent means — moving toward extinction, extinction of
higher Life in particular, and finally even of the life of the race. The
intellectual of the great city is the type of the man without race. In every
Civilization, he has been the inner ally of the outer barbarian.
This quality of having race has, obviously, no connection with which
race one feels community. Race in the objective sense is a creation of
history. One’s destiny must express itself within a certain framework — the
framework of Fate. Thus a man of race born in Kirghizia belongs by Fate to
the barbarian world of Asia with its historical mission of destruction of the
Western Civilization. Rare exceptions are of course possible — Life
submits to no generalization entirely. Some Poles, Ukrainians, or even
Russians, might be impelled by their souls to share the spirit of the West. If
so, they belong to the Western race, and every healthy, ascendant race
accepts recruits who come in on its terms and who have the proper feeling.
In the same way, there are numerous intellectuals in the West who feel
community with the outer idea of Asiatic Nihilism. How numerous they are
is indicated by the journalism, novels and plays that live from them. But the
converse would not be true of men without race — they are not even
acceptable to the enemy. They have nothing to contribute to an organic
group — they are the human grains of sand, atoms of intellect, without
cohesion upwards or downwards.
Every race, no matter how transitory it may be contemplated from the
viewpoint of History, expresses a certain idea, a certain plane of existence
by its life, and its idea is bound to be attractive to some individuals outside
it. Thus in Western life, we are not unfamiliar with the man who, after
associating with Jews, reading their literature, and adopting their viewpoint,

actually becomes a Jew in the fullest sense of the word. It is not necessary
that he have “Jewish blood.” The converse is also known: many Jews have
adopted Western feelings and rhythms, and have thereby acquired Western
race. This process — contemptuously called “assimilation” by the Jewish
leaders — threatened during the 19th century the very existence of the
Jewish race by ultimate absorption of its total racial body into the Western
races. To halt it, the leaders of the Jews evolved the program of Zionism,
which was solely an expedient for maintaining the unity of the Jewish race,
and maintaining its continued existence as such. For this reason they also
recognized the value of anti-semitism of the social type. It was serving the
same purpose of preserving the racial unity of the Jews.


The dying out of racial instincts means the same thing to an individual
as it does to a race, people, nation, State, Culture: unfruitfulness, lack of
will-to-power, lack of ability to believe in or follow great aims, lack of inner
discipline, desire for a life of ease and pleasure.
The symptoms of this racial decadence in various parts of the Western
Civilization are manifold. There is first the ghastly distortion of the sexual
life arising from the complete dissociation of sexual love from reproduction.
The great symbol of this in the Western Civilization is everything suggested
by the name Hollywood. The message of Hollywood is the total
significance of sexual love as an end in itself — the erotic without
consequences. The sexual love of two grains of sand, two rootless
individuals, not the primeval sexual love looking to the continuity of Life,
the family of many children. One child is permitted, as being a more
complicated toy than a dog, perhaps

even two, one boy and one girl — but the family of many children is a
subject for humor to this decadent outlook.
The instinct of decadence takes many forms in this realm: dissolution
of Marriage by divorce laws, attempts to discard, through repeal or non-
enforcement, the laws against abortion, preaching in the form of novel,
drama, journalism, the identification of “happiness” with sexual love,
holding it up as the great value, before which all honor, duty, patriotism,
consecration of Life to a higher aim, must give way. An erotomania is
abroad through our civilization, not indeed like the sexual obsession of the
13th century which was at least racially affirmative, in that it increased the
Western Peoples, but always a purely rootless erotic-without-consequences.
This spiritual disease is the suicide of the race.
The weakening of the will — Nietzsche called it “paralysis of will” —
another symptom of dying out of racial instincts, leads to a total
deterioration of public life in the afflicted races. Government leaders dare
not offer a stern program to their masses of human grains of sand: they
abdicate, but remain in office as private men. Government ceases; the only
functions that continue are the ones that have always gone on, no new aim,
no sacrifices. Keep the old going; no creation! No effort! That would be
too hard. Keep the pleasures going, the panem et circenses. Never mind the
necessities of life, we are willing to renounce them as long as we have the
This weakening of the will leads to voluntary abandonment of empires
conquered with the blood of millions over ten generations. It leads to
abysmal hatred of whoever and whatever represents sternness, creation, the
Future. One of its products is Pacifism, and the only way a racially-
dissolving population can be driven to war is through conscription coupled
with pacifist propaganda — “This is the last war — actually it is a war

against war.” Only an intellectual could be taken in by such stark Unreality.

The weak will of society manifests itself in the Bolshevism of the upper
classes, the sympathy with the enemies of society. Anyone with unimpaired
will however is really felt to be the enemy — even cogent reasoning is
hated: ideals are so much less demanding.
Mediocrity rises over the horizon of a dying race as its last great ideal;
total mediocrity, renunciation of all greatness and distinction of any kind
whatever; also mediocrity of the racial blood-stream — anyone can come in
now, not only on our terms, for there are no more terms, and there are no
racial differences, everything is one, dull, eventless, mediocre.
The weakening of the will is not hard put to find an ideology which
rationalizes it as “progress,” everything desirable, the aim of all previous
history. The democracy-liberalism complex lies to hand, and it acquires in
such times the meaning of Death — of race, nation and Culture. There are
no human differences, everyone is equal, men are women, women are men,
“the individual” is everything, Life is a long holiday whose main problem is
devising new and more stupid pleasures, there is no God, no State, off with
the head of anyone who says there is a mission, who wishes to resurrect
These symptoms, or similar ones, will be found present at the demise
of every upper stratum whose will is weakened. Thus Tocqueville has
described for us how the French upper stratum of 1789 had no suspicion
whatever of the impending Revolution, how nobility waxed enthusiastic
over the “natural goodness of Humanity,” the “virtuous people,” the
“innocence of Man” while the Terror of 1793 lay before their very feet —
spectacle terrible et ridicule. Did not the Petrine nobility of Russia up until
1917 go through the same performance? The Tsar resisted pleas to leave
while there was time with “My

people will not hurt me.” Their picture of the Russian peasant was that of a
happy, simple muzhik, basically good. Similarly the weakening of the
Western will in certain countries was shown by the deluge of pro-Russian
propaganda spread, sometimes with official encouragement, in those
countries from 1920 to 1960.

Horizontal Race vs. Vertical Race

We attain now to the grand formula of the 20th century outlook on

Race: Race is a horizontal differentiation of men. The materialism of the
19th century, confusing race with anatomy, regarded Race as a vertical
differentiation of men. It was “abstract” — away from Reality — and
started from the will-to-systematize, rather than from quiet contemplation of
the living facts. Such contemplation was made difficult for them by the
existence of political nationalism, which tried to build walls of all kinds
between the Western races and peoples.
But had they been able to pierce through to a view of the facts, these
materialists would have seen that the races of Europe were the creations of
History and not a mere continuation of the aboriginal material that was
present in 900 A.D., before the beginning of high History in this area.
Viewing the process of creation of races, they would have seen the far
greater significance of Race in the subjective sense than in the objective
sense. For it is always men of race that create the

deeds of History, and the units they are leading are of secondary importance.
The attempt to create a vertical system of races was Apollonian — it
was an effort of the intellect. Actually Race has the primary meaning of
presence of strong cosmic rhythm — a Dionysian meaning.
The 20th century viewpoint in this matter starts from facts, and the
observed fact is that all strong minorities — both within and without a High
Culture — have welcomed into their company the outsider who was
attracted to it and wished to join it, regardless of his racial provenance,
objectively speaking. The racial snobbery of the 19th century was
intellectual, and its adoption in a too-narrow sphere by the Resurgence of
Authority in Europe between the first two World Wars was a grotesquerie.
What matters to a unit engaged upon a mission is the strength of will
which other groups can bring to it. To interpret the historical mission as one
of “safe-guarding the purity of the race,” in a purely biological sense is sheer
materialism. Race, in both its meanings, is the material of History, not the
reverse. Race supplies the fruitfulness, sureness, and will-to-power to the
Mission. The Mission can never be to make the race “pure” in a biological
sense, however satisfying such a result would be esthetically. And with this
last word is touched upon the other factor in the tragic connection of this
old-fashioned outlook on Race with the strong, vital movement of
Resurgence of Authority: We have seen that all the 19th century concepts in
this sphere Race, People, Nation, State, Culture were of Rationalistic-
Romantic derivation. Romantic — half of this misalliance of the Future and
the Past is traceable to romantic-esthetic notions. Esthetics is however a
domain of its own, and does not have sufficient vitality to supply the

motivation of a political struggle. Its presence there can only be

The stark historical value in this matter is simply this: It only matters
that the Cultural Mission be accomplished, even though in the process
everything else is wiped out. And after that? Did Darius ever think that
lions would one day be roaming his terrace of Persepolis ? And if he had,
what could he have done about it? History, with its great rhythms — the
widest and deepest we know — is also submerged in the Cosmos, and for
Culture-man to think that he can impose his will on the millennially remote
future is only a tribute to his pride of intellect, but no compliment to his
wisdom. We are thinking here in centuries, not in months or years. One
must oppose the attitude of après moi la deluge which prevails at this
moment. It is not a shirking or evading of duty to say that only the historical
Mission matters, but the highest possible affirmation of Duty.
To Race there is no duty. Race in the vertical sense is an abstraction,
corresponding to nothing existing. If taken seriously, it leads the victim off
the path of History and into an esthetic cul-de-sac.
To the 20th century outlook, a man does not belong to a race — he
either has race, or does not. If the former, he has value to History; if the
latter, he is valueless, a lackey.
The attempt to interpret History in terms of Race must be abandoned.
The 20th century sees it quite otherwise. That attempt was a fad, historically
speaking. It had a vogue of a century. It is now quite dead. Its last
formulation, and its most radical, attempted even to intervene in the sphere
of action. That was the last such attempt. An Empire of a thousand years
duration — yes, that has been actualized — in India, China, Egypt. But the
last nations that laid the foundations of these Empires could not know
whether the barbarians would come

soon or never. Montezuma’s Empire would also have lasted a thousand

years — but the Spaniards appeared. There is no guarantee of duration,
racial or other. Actually it is Race that must be interpreted in terms of
History, for that is the factual developmental-sequence. This viewpoint is
not a fad, an arbitrary abstract picture, but one reflecting the facts of history.

Race and Policy

Both meanings of Race, the objective and the subjective, have a

meaning for policy in the 20th century.
The objective meaning of Race describes a group which shares a
certain basic, instinctive rhythm. This racial stamp has been given to it by
History, which narrows or widens the limits of this Race, depending on the
character and magnitude of the historical Mission.
Such a race is the creation of History, and not of a text-book scheme
first planned on paper and then put into actuality. It is not a creation of a
man, as such — although a man may by his personality be the vehicle of
History, and may be the focus of historical energy on to the creation of a
race. But important is: as far as policy is concerned, one can only work with
the races existing. They cannot be created or disposed of by human fiat.
Existing races are a mixture, as far as stock is concerned. There is
nothing to be done about this. Such a mixture of stock is not “impurity,” in
any true, factual, meaning of that word. “Purity” in racial matters means
inclusiveness of the entire

population within the same historical feeling and cosmic beat. “Purity” is
directed to feeling, and not to anatomical derivation. This is true even in the
most objective meaning of the word Race, and a fortiori is it true of Race in
the subjective sense.
The hierarchy of races is a fact of which policy must take cognizance.
The strength of will of the Russian race is an ominous fact which cannot be
explained away by intellectualizing. This strength is reflected in physical
stamina which enables the Russian soldier to recover from wounds which
would be fatal to a Western soldier. The will-to-power diffused through the
Japanese race places it high in the hierarchy of races. The force this gives to
the body of a nation is shown by the physical performance of Japanese
infantry, matched by only one of the Western races still existing. The two
general physical types which make up the body of the Japanese race show
perfectly the fact that purity means prevalence everywhere of the same
feeling, cosmic rhythm, and not of the same physical structure,
pigmentation, or shape of head, for spiritually these two physical types are
both Japanese.
The lower degree of will-to-power of the populations in the areas
called China, India, and Africa generally is also a fact for policy to apply.
This is, of course, no attempt to contradict that some tribes in these areas
have strong will-to-power, but only a general observation of these large
areas. Anything that is a fact is material for policy, no matter how general,
or how specific, so long as it relates to action.
Important as these general facts as to the hierarchial ordering of extra-
European races are, Race has a vastly more important aspect for policy, and
that is the strength of our own race.
Race is the material of History, it is the treasure which a

population brings to an Idea. The stronger the racial instincts of the

population, the greater its promise of victory. Consequently anything which
strikes at the strength of these instincts is the enemy of the highest
significance, and even of the very existence, of the race. These instincts are
self-preservation, fruitfulness, increase of power. Without these there is no
Idea, no History — there is only the collection of human grains of sand —
and later a pyramid of skulls erected by outer barbarians.
Thus the whole liberal-democratic ideology, with its “individualism”
that is a mere negation of everything superpersonal, its “happiness” ideal
that encourages every weakness and self-indulgence, its erotomania which
distorts the whole sexual life into a barren disease of the will, its “tolerance”
which seeks to break down the cohesion of the race by denying its existence,
its materialism which denies all spiritual values, all higher significance of
human life, its pacifism which values weakness above virility, its ideal of
Mediocrity by which it opposes every creative man and the Idea he
represents in History, its cult of the proletarian as the highest element, its
total renunciation of the Soul of Man — this is the great enemy of Race.
Part of this degeneration is organic — more of it is deliberately spread
abroad within our Civilization by alien distorting elements which either
belong to, or sympathize with, Asia in the annihilation battle for Western
survival that will take up this century and the next. It is quite obvious that
anything that undermines the will-to-power and the virility of the West
ripens it for Asiatic slaughter. It should be equally obvious that the world-
outlook that is thus eating away at the Western soul must be ruthlessly
eradicated wherever it lurks by whatever means necessary. Thus even if one
may have clung to his little ideal of “freedom” or “happiness” during the
19th century — the century of security, of comfort, of money-making and

money-spending — he must renounce it now in the century when the very

foundations of the life of our Culture are under attack from below and
without — an attack in each case that means to destroy everything. To retain
such ideals is to become the inner enemy of the West.
Thus Western policy must declare this outlook and its adherents to be
the inner enemy. It must supplant its superannuated ideology by the strong,
manly one appropriate to this Age of Absolute Politics. It must root out its
ideas, its leaders, its techniques. Any groups that are committed to this
outlook by their inner constitution and spiritual existence must be
Western policy has the duty of encouraging in its education of the
youth its manifestations of strong character, self-discipline, honor, ambition,
renunciation of weakness, striving after perfection, superiority, leadership —
in a word — Race.
The man of race disciplines himself — because he needs discipline.
Strong instincts need a strong will. Race is also a residue of inner chaos, for
only out of chaos can come creation, whether of thought or deed. Strong
instincts are the prerequisite of every outstanding performance even the
creation of a work for the intellect. The raceless, rootless-intellectual
attitude has no inner imperative — it shrugs its shoulders and says “So
what?” Such an attitude is that of finished men — they are used up before
they start. They can insist on nothing, compel nothing, perform nothing. A
hundred men of race without particular intellectual qualifications can
accomplish more under the same leader than a thousand intellectuals from
the pavements of the great cities. A man of race is not yet finished — he
offers material for performance.
An intellectual cannot be inspired — enthusiasm he regards, quite
seriously, as pathological, as mania. He prefers to sit in

his cocktail lounge or his sidewalk cafe, sipping his alcohol and preserving
the degagé manner. The talk is of pathetic ideals of social and sexual
atomism, of “new artistic tendencies,” of “the subconscious,” of
“democracy” — but over it all is the perfume of decay. It is a world of
boredom, a blase degeneration, the casual bumpings and connections of
grains of sand — in one word, the sarcophagus of the race. Baudelaire, with
his preoccupation with corpses, is its perfect expression: the world of the
intellectual is the putrescence of the superpersonal soul. Where this sort of
material has influence, the barbarian has easy conquests.
Western policy must recognize these facts. Education policy,
propaganda, public life, must form the race away from this charnel outlook.
To keep away from all these forms of decadence is to safeguard the strength
of the race. To allow them is to promote the death of the race.


We have seen the power of a race imbued with an historical idea to

take up alien human material into it, and imbue it with its own rhythm. This
phenomenon must be more closely examined.
We have seen this sort of thing throughout all history. Thus the
Romans accepted into their racial body whoever was capable of Romanness,
and wished to be able to say with the same inner pride as the dwellers on the
Seven Hills — Civis Romanus sum. Up until 1933, America had thus taken
up into its race many millions of immigrants from Europe and from the
Balkans. The Russians have been thus increasing their numbers steadily
through the past three centuries.
In each of these cases, the essence of the ingress of the alien

into the proper racial body is his total absorption into the new idea, his
complete adoption of the new plane of existence, his total loss of the old
existence. With human beings, the word “total” refers to the soul. If his
soul can assimilate, his body can. Thus Frenchmen settled in Brandenburg
en masse during the 18th century. Thousands upon thousands of Germans
have settled in France. Frenchmen settled in America in great numbers. So
did Englishmen. Italians have moved to France in enormous numbers. The
examples are almost endless. In each case, the newcomers disappeared as a
group. As individuals, their blood-stream continued in the new landscape,
but it now had a new cosmic beat. French Huguenots in Brandenburg
became Prussians, in Ireland they became Irish. Spaniards in Ireland
became Irish. English in America became Americans. Germans in France
became Frenchmen; in Argentina, Argentines; in America, Americans. The
newcomer in this process, as individual or as group can contribute nothing
on the superpersonal level. His contribution is limited to his personal
qualities of instinct or talent as individual, of healthy instincts as group.
Cultural things he cannot contribute, because they cannot be received.
A unit itself under the impress of a High Culture cannot assimilate
anything on the cultural level from a group under the impress of another
High Culture.
This explains why the various European races were so easily
assimilable one in the other, how they disappeared in a generation into the
new pulse and feeling — they shared the same Culture. Although they
belonged to separate races, nevertheless there was a higher stratum of Life
that included all these races as manifestations of its superpersonal Life.
Thus these vertical divisions of mere race did not separate Western men.
Nor did they separate non-Westerners from Westerners

when the incoming non-Westerners sought to preserve no barrier of their

own: during the youth of our Culture, on the Eastern Marches of Europe,
many thousands of Slavs were assimilated into the European races,
disappeared into them and became completely European. Western policy of
the future must remember facts of this kind.
Actually, this is no blending, no amalgamation; it is simply the
increasing of the receiving race. They bring only their blood and numbers;
they can bring no Idea, for it already is an Idea. Only a superficial view
could attach importance to words, phrases, even vocabularies, or to quaint
social customs that the receiving race may adopt from the newcomers in the
process of assimilating them. These things are merely the traces by which
one can trace the influx after the passage of generations. Thus some Irish
family names are “de la” this or that, Spaniards “di,” Frenchmen and
Americans “von,” Germans “de.” It is no sign of any continuity other than
that of the germ-plasm, this of foreign family names, after assimilation has
occurred. In fact it is noticeable, and is part of old European wisdom that —
in the beginning, at least — this new element has a higher radar potential
than the absorbing race generally. Hence the old expressions: Hibernis ipsis
Hiberniores, päpstlicher als der Papst. The man who comes from the
periphery to the center of an Idea has an enthusiasm that the older members
do not feel. What they take for granted is to him inspiring in its excellence.
It is the zeal of the convert.
But there are cases where this assimilation does not occur. They are
the cases where there is a cultural bar between the two populations. Either
they are each under the impress of a Culture, or else one group is and the
other is not, and is negative.
Thus, during the reign of Catherine the Great, and at her

invitation, thousands of German farmers and craftsmen came to Russia.

Land on the Volga river was given to them, and there they remained until
very recent history. By the 20th century, their numbers were about 350,000.
But — during the generations of their residence in Russia, they had retained
their orientation to Europe. Their Russian environment, culture-less and
primitive, had been unable to deprive them in any way of their character as a
fragment of a High Culture. The Bolshevik regime did what time never
could have done: it exterminated them by starvation and dispersal through
Asia. Other German colonies preserved their European Culture along the
Baltic shores of Russia, and in the primitive Balkan area. The new Asiatic
will to annihilate the West has now exterminated them all whether in
Rumania, Serbia, Bohemia, Poland, Bulgaria.
The best-known example of this organic regularity, and the most Fate-
laden for all concerned, was the contact between the group called Jews and
the Western Culture. Until the discovery of the organic unity of a High
Culture, and its inner articulation, no final understanding of what has come
to be called “the Jewish problem” was possible. At this point, only the racial
aspect of this problem is touched on, and it is only necessary to explain the
origin of the Jewish race now existing.
The Jew is a product of another Culture. When the Western Culture
arose, the Jews were distributed through a part of its area, mostly in Spain
and Italy. The Arabian Culture, then in its very last stage, had created the
Jews as a unity, and they were in the form of this expiring Culture. Hence
the stirrings of the Western Idea could not touch them inwardly at all. They
held themselves entirely aloof from anything Western. They had an entire
world-outlook and world-feeling of their own, which needed no impulse
from without, that could only resist any other Culture. This basic fact kept
the Jew entirely separate

from the West spiritually and racially — the West rejected his world-feeling,
he rejected its. Mutual hatred and mutual persecution only strengthened the
Jewish race, sharpened its cunning, and increased its resentment.
Thus we see that while mere race cannot prevent assimilation of new
stock from outside, Cultural barriers will. Certain numbers must of course
be present for an alien group to maintain its identity within the body of a
culturally-alien host. A tiny group could not so preserve itself.
That there is nothing about the Jewish race physically that is
unassimilable is shown by what happened in Spain. There late in the 15th
century the monarch compelled them either to adopt Christianity or leave the
country. Most Jews left, but the descendants of those who adopted
Christianity and raised their children among Westerners disappeared into the
Spanish race.
Another example of a Cultural barrier is the relation of Russia and the
West. There it is the purely negative will to destroy Culture that has
prevented assimilation of Russia by the West, despite the fact that Peter the
Great and his dynasty after him tried by every means to Westernize Russia
for three centuries. The outburst of 1918 was primarily an expression of the
great fact of the failure of the Petrine effort — it had been only superficially
successful and had not penetrated to the depths of this powerful negative
soul. The Western Culture is the great barrier that also prevents racial
assimilation either way in large numbers.
For this same reason, Chinese and Japanese, who have behind them
and in their souls the Chinese Culture that was fulfilled by 1000 B.C., cannot
be assimilated by Westerners racially in numbers. The converse is also true:
if a colony of Westerners were planted in the middle of China, 1000 years
hence it would be still Western surrounded by the totally alien Chinese.

is the explanation of the anti-Chinese and anti-Japanese laws and activity of

the Americans from the middle of the 19th century to the present.
It is the numbers that create these racial questions. If a tiny group is
involved, it will disappear; if a group of significant numbers is present,
separated by a Cultural barrier from the surrounding population, it will not.


To think is to exaggerate; to separate a thing into elements is to give a

picture that is bound to disturb the natural order of the relationships. And
yet it is a necessity of thought and presentation to examine and set forth
things serially. Thus constant precedence has been given to Culture as a
barrier to assimilation of populations, because it is an immensely more
important one, since it is race-creating. Cases exist, however, where race-
difference in the physical sense is so vast that assimilation seems to be
impossible. There are no such problems in Europe, but they occur in various
Western colonies, such as America and South Africa.
Race in the subjective sense influences the choice of a mate. If racial
instincts are strong, they prevent the taking of a mate belonging to a race of
totally alien characteristics, even physically. Thus the Negro in general
rejects the white race, and the white generally rejects the Negro. The
Culture barrier is also present, for the Negro is below our Culture, even
though he has lived within its area for centuries. It is those whose racial
instincts are attenuated in both cases who accept the totally alien physically.
The case of America shows the limits of racial assimilability between
populations totally alien physically. There the

liberal-democratic-communist-ideology has openly sought by all possible

means to promote a blending of these two races. The only result it has had is
to arouse racial bitterness that finds expression in bloody riots which
proceed to mass-killings on both sides.
The only reason the subject of the Negro is touched here — its
political significance is treated with America — is that it seems to be the
extreme case of race-difference preventing assimilation. How much of this
is due to the primitivity of the Negro, and how much to his total physical
difference, we do not know.
The touching of this racial-frontier case of the Negro however, shows
to Europe a very important fact — that race-difference between white men,
which means Western men, is vanishingly small in view of their common
mission of actualizing a High Culture. In Europe, where hitherto the race
difference between, say, Frenchman and Italian has been magnified to great
dimensions, there has been no sufficient reminder of the race-differences
outside the Western Civilization. Adequate instruction along this line would
apparently have to take the form of occupation of all Europe, instead of only
part of it, by Negroes from America and Africa, by Mongols and Turkestani
from the Russian Empire.
We have reached now the last and deepest relationships between Race
and Policy:
Policy is charged with actualizing an historical Mission, the saving of
the Western Civilization from decadence within, and from the barbarian
Whether this is to succeed will depend on the strength of racial
instinct left, by which is meant the instincts of self-preservation, fruitfulness,
and will-to-power.
Any man who shares the feeling of this Mission, and any

group which shares it, belong to us in this greatest of all battles in 5,000
years of history, regardless of the derivation of the man or group.
Any group or idea which does not share this feeling, and wishes to
further its own aims within the West is an inner enemy. Any group or idea
which weakens in any way the racial strength of the West is an inner enemy.
Policy has the great double task of eradicating the inner enemy in
order to salvage the racial instincts of the West, and of training this race into
a sure and firm unit for a century of warfare.
The two great mistakes of materialism in the field of Race must be a
cast into the dead past of Materialism: on the one hand the denial of Race,
on the other hand the primacy of Race before Culture.
The aim of Policy is to actualize our Western Imperium — whoever
introduces racial theories of materialistic provenance, whether in the name
of “tolerance,” which means we should abandon our instincts, or in the name
of “racial purity,” which means we should abandon our Cultural unity, is
prolonging the crisis and division of the West.
One result of the coming warfare for the liberation of the West and
the creation of the Empire of the West will be the creation — in the long and
desperate fight — of a new race, the Western race, which will embrace the
populations which made up the 19th century nations or England, Germany,
France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia.
Those populations of the West which have the least impaired racial
bodies and racial instincts will respond most intensely to the demands of the
coming century of warfare, and will play the largest formative role in this
greatest of all struggles, but the new race will be a unity, not a collection of
dead races, but a

new and grander creation from the human streams now existing.
The races of 19th century Europe are, as such, dead. Policy starts
from this. Provincial patriotism of the 19th century type can evoke no
response. The unity of the West which the barbarian has always recognized
is recognized at the last hour by the West itself.
The barbarian is astride the prostrate West. This is not the end, but
the beginning of Western unity.


The creation of a race by History is clear. It is an example of the

biological following the spiritual. For this process to reach its highest
potential a certain time is necessary — two or three generations are needed
for the type of the racial ideal to fasten on to a population-stream and give it
its own distinct outer look, corresponding to its inner unique superpersonal
People is a word on a different plane of thinking from this. We are
familiar with its polemical use by the democratic mob to deny existence to
qualitative elements and assert pure and simple quantity as “the People.”
We seek, however, facts. What is a people? What is its articulation?
Two French thinkers contributed to the 19th century valuable insight
into the nature of all human groups whatever. Gustave le Bon and René
Worms both saw and set forth with Cartesian clarity the organic nature of
human groups, the superpersonal unity which was the custodian of the
Destiny of the group. Worms applied it upward — to the State. Le Bon
applied it downwards — to the crowd. Their presentation was not entirely

free of materialistic tendencies — “Truth belongs to the individual, Error

belongs to the Age,” said Goethe — but they gave to the West a glimpse
along the path of History. Their contribution was ignored by the Age of
Rationalism. The pure materialism of William Paley was preferred: a people
is “only a collection of the citizens who compose it.” Again: “The happiness
of a people is made up of the happiness of single persons.” This stupid anti-
factual picture could not be refuted, for it was a faith. The picture reflected
the Spirit of the Age, and could only pass away with the expiration of that
spirit. It was a picture that sprang from a certain soul, and even though it
denied the soul, yet it was tied to the existence of that one certain soul.
The new age is one of Resurgence of Authority, both spiritual and
political. This Age bases its political formula on facts, on the actualizing of
the possible. It does not dream up an ideal picture, and then try to change
the vocabulary of the world-of-action. It does not wish to delude itself into
thinking that changing words will transform fact. It wishes to orient itself to
facts, and above all to the repository of facts, History, and the driving force
of facts, Destiny.
To understand what a people is, one must begin with the smallest
human group, the crowd. It strikes one immediately that there are two types
of crowds. There is the crowd assembled on an intellectual basis — the
attendance at a lecture, at a drama, at a social function. Then there is the
crowd assembled on a spiritual basis — a political meeting, a religious
agitation, a protest, a riot.
The first type is a mere collection. The individuals repel one another,
figuratively and literally. These crowds have as many viewpoints as there
are individuals in them. They are not unities, but only potential unities. The
outbreak of fire in a theater immediately turns such a collection of
independent individuals

into one soul, with one thought, a thought directed downwards, it is true, but
it is a unity. The unity of panic is a fact which political and military leaders
must know how to exploit. It is one way of inspiriting when other methods
may fail.
The second type is not a collection, but a unity. The first is
unarticulated — all the human atoms are on the same level. The second is
articulated — it has a leader. If there is no leader, there is no unity, and a
few mounted police may disperse it. No individual will risk anything for a
mere gathering, because his individuality is uppermost. The unity of the
crowd submerges the personalities of the components; the unity is a super-
personal soul. The unity must be on the basis of an idea, a wordless feeling
strong enough to cause individuality to subside. When this idea is present,
the human beings present become mere cells, as it were, of the higher
organic unity. Men of strong intelligence who have been in crowds united
for action have described how their own faculties were transformed and how
the detachment that intelligence gives was suddenly in abeyance, overcome
by a force as mystic in its power as in its origin.
This crowd is a people. It is a higher organism, it is informed by a
superpersonal soul. The individuals will sacrifice themselves in the process
of this higher soul actualizing itself, what they would never do alone.
The technique of this process is quite invisible, mystical, but its
results are just as visible. Not only do crowds arise by themselves in
conditions of great super-personal excitement when a leader appears, as
Camille Desmoulins did to the gathering in the Palais Royal in 1789, to
activate the mere sum into a unity — but they can be created. Thus, anyone
so situated as to be able to bring a mass into one place can transform the
mass into a unity by leadership.

As far as the individuals are concerned, the crowd is an attitude of

mind. The man in a crowd would not dream of thinking for himself — the
results of thinking are presented to him by the leader, and thenceforth these
thoughts are his.
With this emerges a very important fact about crowd unity. It only
reached expression with the results of the new propaganda technics of the
First World War. It is this: Through constant, unremitting propaganda of all
possible types, and with unbroken continuity, the unity of the crowd can be
maintained even though the members are physically separated. Mass
propaganda converts the population of a continent into a crowd. Individual
thought occurs very rarely under such conditions. Constant bombardment
with cinema, press and radio-wireless removes all individuality from the
units of vast populations.
The crowd thus presents the articulation of leader-led. This is
existential: without it there is no unity, with it any gathering becomes a
unity. But the decisive part of the articulation is the leader, and not the led.
All understanding is transferred to him. All decision is with him. This is
totally independent of any theory or ideal in the name of which the crowd
may be mobilized, even the theory of individualism. The crowd is a higher
unity; the leader represents it.
Where a High Culture is present, any crowd whatever is affected by it,
even though only negatively. By that is meant that even a protest against
Culture, such as the Peasant’s Wars, Jack Cade’s rebellion, Marxian class-
war, and the like, only gain their unity from their desire to annihilate
Culture. Whether the crowd is in the service of Culture or not depends on
the leadership. Crowds as masses are neutral. Leadership is decisive:
creative leaders like Napoleon lead a crowd upward and forward; leaders of
the negative and devious type, like Roosevelt, lead a crowd downward and

The crowd is a soul-unit. Its significance and potentialities belong to

its articulation, its leader. This is true both of street-crowds within the range
of one eye and one voice, and also to crowds on a continental scale, like
The leader has a dual significance: he is part of the crowd, he must
also be against the crowd. It has no individuality save his; if he also
becomes lost in the crowd mind, there is no individuality present, no will, no
brain. He is part of the superpersonal unity as the brain is part of the body.
The brain serves the soul, the body serves the brain.
This smallest superpersonal unit, the crowd, shows the polarity of
instinct and intellect that extends up through all ascendant organisms to the
highest, High Culture. Instinct is the content of the Life, Intellect is the
technic of actualizing it. Instinct tells what, Intellect tells how. Instinct
says: Preserve! Multiply! Increase power! Intellect seeks methods of
preserving Life and increasing power. Intellect is charged with the mission
of actualizing Life, of expressing the instinctive imperatives of Life.
They can only be understood in relation to one another. Their
separation is distortion and illness. They increase together in healthy man.
That is why the intellectuals in Late Civilizations exhibit such egregious
stupidity — they have attenuated instincts, and hence no intellects. Instinct
is the ship bound for a destination, intellect is the rudder that steers it;
another figure: instinct is the passengers who are to be transported, intellect
is the master of the vessel, who must deliver them.
Their relationship can be formulated from the negative side: Instinct
furnishes the will-to-power, but must not decide the moment for attack.
Instinct cannot decide on the policy by which Life is to actualize its inner
imperative. It is blind — it always counsels attack. Thus General Hood
threw away the

Army of Tennessee in the American War of Secession. Intellect must decide

between the posture of defense and the movement of attack. Instinct may
succumb to defeat, Intellect can still discern the elements of hope. Instinct
sees everything else and everyone else as enemy, Intellect coldly decides
from the situation who is the enemy, and seeks to make all the others
friends. Instinct is subject to intoxication, the function of Intelligence is to
remain sober. Instinct loves and hates, Intellect, neither.
In Gothic times, the Empire and Papacy were formulated as the two
perfect bodies. Each was supposed to exhibit absolute balance and harmony
in its inner unity, as distinct from Man, who is imperfect and contains the
inner struggle of Instinct and Intellect. In those times, the problem for the
man of action seeking to actualize a great idea was to keep instinct within its
bounds. Thus Henry the Lion acted instinctively in his defection from
Barbarossa and destroyed the Hohenstaufen Empire, from which destruction
the West has suffered ever since. In this time of transition, the problem is
the reverse: now it is intellect which must be firmly held in place. In the
pride of Rationalism, Intellect announced that it was Life — all else was
retrograde, aberrant. The result of Western Intellect denying Western
Instinct was the division of the World between Washington and Moscow.


The crowd has been seen to be a submerging of individual souls into a

superpersonal soul. It is the creation of a unity out of a sum. In the process
intellect moves out of the components and becomes vested in the
articulation, the leader.
The street-crowd is the smallest people. A people is a unity for
action. Whenever, in its great rhythmic swirls, History pulls

a group into its vortex, the group immediately articulates itself as a people,
or disappears. The group may be religious in origin, economic in origin,
cultural in origin. But when it becomes an object of happening, it must
respond by constituting itself as a people, or simply vanish from the pages of
history. Peoples may be tiny, or they may be vast. The population living in
the area between the Adige and the Kurisches Haff felt itself a people at the
dawn of our Culture. This vastness of landscape at its origin was unique to
the Western Culture. The same feeling was abroad then that in its maturity,
in the custody ofSpain, made the whole world into the object of Western
politics. Or a people may be tiny — the Mormons in America, a mere group
of converts to a religionist, asserted themselves strongly and were opposed
from without. They responded by becoming a people. Their unity persisted
until their leadership decided in favor of Intellect and compromised the
doctrines of the religion, whereupon the Mormon people disappeared.
What is it that creates a people? It is first a difference between a
group and its human environment, and secondly a tension worked up by this
difference. A tension is a frontier. The frontier sharpens the feelings on
both sides, and results in a new action-unit, a People.
Just as this tension may arise out of religion, economics, culture, race,
so may the new unit contain all kinds of people, if the population affected is
heterogeneous. Language is no bar to the formation of a people; in fact all
existing Western languages came after the formation of their respective
A People is a spiritual unit. It is created by History, and if it is able to
survive its first tests, it becomes a unit which carries History further. Just as
the excited street-crowd only becomes a unit by virtue of the leader-led
articulation, so a people is only such by virtue of leadership.

The distinction between crowd and people is only one of duration and
magnitude, and not one of kind. Thus one man can exercise, for the few
hours necessary, the entire leadership functions of a crowd. A people is
more elaborately articulated than a crowd, has a more complex existence, a
larger Life-task, and hence, a stratum of leaders. Any absolute monarchy or
dictatorship also has a leader- stratum.
A people may be weak, or it may be strong. During the recent
centuries of Western history, since the Peace of Westphalia, a handful of
weak peoples have managed to maintain a nominal independence, politically
speaking, by virtue of the tense situation between larger powers. But weak
peoples, like weak individuals, cannot create great deeds or great thoughts.
A strong people, by the intensity of its imperative, maintains the frontier
between it and other populations, refuses to compromise its unique idea. By
frontier is meant here of course, spiritual frontier. Whether this develops
into a territorial frontier is for events to show, and is also a matter of what
Culture we are talking about.
Thus, in neither the Arabian Culture, nor the Classical Culture, was
the idea of a people bound up with a land area. In neither of these Cultures
was it repugnant to the spiritual feeling of unity of a people to have a strange
people living in the same area, having its own government and laws.
Imperial Rome administered foreign laws in cases involving foreigners. In
the Arabian Culture, the independence was even more marked. Thus
Nestorians, Muslims, and Jews lived side by side, but belonged to different
nations, and did not intermarry. Foreign meant: of a different belief. These
peoples and nations would have regarded the Western doctrine of the
Reformation-times cuius regio, eius religio as the most Satanic possible
inversion of the natural order. To make belief dependent upon the

land of residence would have seemed monstrous to them. The Jew brought
this feeling with him from this alien Culture. He regarded his next-door
Western neighbor as foreign. The public life of his Western host-nation was
a matter of indifference to him, and he had his own public-life, unnoticed by
the West. Their laws were not his, nor their religion, nor their ethics,
customs, thoughts, or habits, and above all, their political life did not touch
him with its ideas of Fatherland, patriotism, military service, self-sacrifice.
In Turkey and China it was not felt as a humiliation that by the
“Capitulations” Westerners were under the jurisdiction of their own consular
representatives, and not under local courts.
Thus the relation of a people to other peoples is a matter determined
by the symbolic inner-life of the High Culture in which it may arise. This is
not to say that a People can only arise in a High Culture. For phenomena
like Tamerlane and Gengis Khan are also people-creating.
As concepts, Race and People are quite separate; in life they are not so
separate. We have seen the formation of a Race. It begins with the
formation of a People. Every people with a strong idea and good leadership
will develop also into a racial unity if it lasts long enough. The converse is
also true: a race — using the word now with its maximum of anatomical
content, e.g., the Negro — may be the focus of happenings that will force it
to assume the form of a people.
A People is a unit of the soul. Wherever there is a soul-unity
gestating, a people is forming. The entire 20th century West can now see
what Nietzsche discerned in the 80’s of the 19th century — the arising of a
Western People. His expression “We good Europeans” was understood by
few of his time. They were too busy with their petty games: in the Cabinets
they were playing national-atomism; in the salons they were talking social-

and “happiness”; in the cellars they were plotting in class-atomism.

The strength and health of a People depends upon the definiteness of
its articulation. We have seen how in a street-crowd, all will and intellect
mystically devolve upon the leader. If this breaks up, through mistakes by
the leader, or crushing by external force, the crowd is dead, and reverts to a
sum of individuals.
The decentralization of will and intellect in the West generally is thus
seen to be a grave Cultural sickness. The Authority and Unity of the West
was gradually undermined for centuries by the slow increase of the
intellectual content of the Culture. Nevertheless this Culture preserved its
unity before the world, generally speaking, until the cataclysm of 1789,
which Napoleon, and after him the Vienna Congress, were unable
permanently to undo. The Concert of Europe was replaced by a progressing
Discord of Europe.
The more will and intellect that passed downwards and outwards in
the Culture, the greater was the decline in the Cultural health. Nationalism
was the disease of the Culture; Class War was the disease of the Nation;
Parliamentarism was the disease of the State; the Rule of Money was the
disease of Society; sterile Pleasure was the disease of the Race; the new
selfishness was the disease of the Family; Divorce was the disease of
Every Culture has gone through this terrible crisis, and each has stood
where the West now stands in 1948. This means, of course, inwardly, for
never before at the height of its crisis has an entire Culture been occupied by
barbarians and distorters. The previous seven Cultures surmounted this
critical time: the creative forces of Instinct and Intellect, working in
harmony brought about the Resurgence of Authority, and formed, in each
case, the Empire of the Culture.

The beginning of this resurgence of synthesis and creation after the

long orgy of Intellect-run-wild manifests itself in diverse phenomena.
Nietzsche and Carlyle were symbols of the resurgence. Characteristically
both were Europeans, and despised the petty-statism of their times. Their
lives and ideas were an expression of organic necessity. Both were heralds
of the next Age. The appearance of a spate of cultural histories was another
sign. The appearance of State-Socialism was another. The biological
theories of de Vries and Driesch, the abandonment of the materialistic
cliches by a whole group of physicists was another. For political purposes,
the most important was the beginning of the formation of a People of the


The word People describes a group which has become a soul-unit,

through an idea and the presence of the polarity of leader and led. The word
is neutral as to the duration of such a group, its inner strength, its intensity,
or the magnitude of its mission in life.
A nation is a people — and something more. It is more highly
articulated. A people can arise outside of a Culture; a nation cannot. A
people may be a unit of short duration, or inwardly weak. A nation has a life
span and belongs to the strongest organic unities within a Culture. With the
word Culture, we touch upon the hall-mark of the Nation: a nation is a
people containing a Cultural Idea.
When a High Culture is born into a landscape, after a gestation period
of several generations, it works with mysterious effect upon the populations
in its area. Previous names and groupings vanish into new spiritual unities.
In the West, around 1000 A.D., the names Swabian, Frank, Lombard,
Visigoth, Saxon, become dead terms for practical purposes, and men begin
to feel themselves as Germans, Italians, Frenchmen,

and Spaniards. Each of these groups is an Idea — it is the vehicle of a

certain part of the soul of the Culture, it is a plane of existence, an aspect of
the Culture-spirit. This is the basis of their differences. Their similarity is
that they are the creations of the same Culture.
Their differences beget different racial rhythms and styles of thinking
and doing. A different inner accent shapes the same general linguistic
material into various tongues, each one the expression of a different soul.
The separate souls react in distinct fashions to similar outer experiences, and
thus events also contribute their part to shaping the character of the nations
that arise.
To understand what a nation is, one must first entirely dissociate in his
mind the connection — so self-evident to the 19th century — between
nation, political unity, and language. To the era of Rationalism and
Capitalism, these units were the very primordial material of history. But
these nations were only expressions of a certain stage of the Nation-Idea in
Western history.
In the dawn of our Culture, language had no relation to nation, nor
had politics. A Nation in those days was a spiritual unity which expressed
itself as such in the Spirit of the Age. That Spirit was one of religious
feeling, Scholastic philosophy, Gothic architecture, Imperial-Papal politics,
Crusades. There was a sharp and distinct feeling of the foreigner, but the
word did not relate exclusively to politics, or language. In the 11th and 12th
centuries, English, German, French methods of thinking appear in the
various Scholastics. Varying honor-imperatives, varying moral-feelings,
different ways of manifesting religious feelings, variations in the Gothic
cathedrals, degrees of attachment to Empire or Pope — all show the
different national ideas.

Vis-à-vis the foreigner — the Moor, the Slav, the Turk, the Saracen —
these nations unconsciously, self-evidently, were one People. However
strong their feelings of separation toward one another, instinct welded them
into a unity for assertion against the Cultural alien. Thus when the
Crusaders established a Western State in the Levant, it was not English,
French, German — but simply Western. The instinct of the Culture is
strong, its rhythms compel virtually, its superpersonal unity is felt in the
blood, and hence recognized by the intellect.
All Cultures express themselves in the form of nations, as well as art-
forms, religions, languages, technics, knowledge-systems and the other
Culture-forms. Just as all the other forms are distinct within each Culture, so
is the style of the Nation. In the Arabian Culture, just as its conception of
History was the actualization of a World-Plan by God beginning with a
Creation and ending with a Cataclysm, so the Nation-style was one of belief.
Members of a belief were constituted as nations. The notion of territory,
Fatherland, was not present. The nation had a spiritual, and not a physical,
extent. This Nation-idea created in this alien Culture the Jewish nation,
which in that Culture was one among others of a similar structure. In our
Culture, it was so completely alien that no one realized what its essence was
until we reached our period of Late Civilization with its historical
In the Classical Culture, the Nation-idea was expressed in the form of
a City-state. The Nation was not an area, but only the City and its
population. Any further territorial control was negative in origin; e.g., to
control was to deny possession of the area to a potential enemy in war. To
these nations, our idea of a Fatherland with distant frontiers that one never
sees during his whole life would have been a fantastic and repellent


The Nation is an Idea. Its material manifestations are the

actualizations of this Idea as it fulfills itself. We can, for purposes of
understanding, divide the Nation into three strata. On top is the Idea itself.
It is incapable of expression in words, for it is not an abstraction, not a
concept, but is a soul. It can only be expressed in lives, deeds, thoughts,
Under it is the minority which embodies the Idea at high potential, the
nation-bearing stratum. It represents the Idea in History. For practical
purposes it is the nation. It is, as actuality, what the mass of the population,
the body of the nation, is as possibility.
The lowest stratum is the mass. It widens out toward the base,
becoming ever less differentiated as one goes down. Finally one reaches the
level where an eternal stratum is reached, that takes no part whatever in the
national Idea, which does not experience the History which is playing its
drama higher up on top.
Just as, in a crowd, the leader is the decisive part of the unity, so is the
nation-bearing minority in the national unity. Both minority and mass are in
the service of the Idea, just as both leader and led are of the crowd-idea. If
the leader is killed or removed, another will arise, if the idea is strong.
Similarly in a nation, the mass contains, in most of its individuals, a spark of
the national feeling. Those who are more moved by this inner quality than
others are a part of the minority, the nation-bearing stratum.
Dissociate nation-bearing stratum and mere political leadership. In
organic health the political leadership contains only members of the nation-
bearing stratum — but not all of them,

by any means, for nation-bearing stratum is much wider than political

administration. But the political leadership may contain, owing to weakness
of the national idea and aggressiveness of an inner alien group, few or even
no members of the nation-bearing stratum. The members of the nation-
bearing stratum are those who by the strength of their national feelings and
their willingness to sacrifice for this Idea are the custodians of the Idea
before the world and against inner alien and anti-national elements.
If this stratum were to be removed from a healthy nation with a future,
after a period of spiritual chaos in the body of the nation, a new one would
arise from the mass. If the mass were totally devoid of national feelings, the
minority could not accomplish the Idea.
That there is nothing whatever abstract about this is shown by the case
of Russia. There the Romanov dynasty and its upper stratum tried to make
Russia into a Western people, a Western nation. But the mass was quite
devoid of possibilities in this direction. They did succeed in making Russia
into a Western nation, for appearances, and for political purposes, and this
shows that the minority is decisive. But when the Bolsheviks exterminated
or drove out this entire minority, there was nothing to replace it, for the mass
did not even contain a spark of this idea.
Thus from the standpoint of History, the nation serves the Culture, the
minority serves the nation, the mass serves the minority. The quaint
transposition of thought known as Rationalism saw it otherwise: there is no
Idea, there is only mass, anything else must serve the mass. But Rationalism
only affected terminology in this matter, for even those nations most heavily
undermined by Rationalism still appeared in History in the custody of a
minority, and the mass was only called upon to

obey, to think a certain way, to vote a certain way. It is important in the

20th century to know that denying facts does not remove them, nor does
changing their names change their nature. In the 19th century the Nation
was still an Idea, even though it was supposed to be merely a huge collection
of individuals. It was an Idea that infected even the most rationalistic of the
Rationalists, the Communists. Thus French Communism was entirely
different from German Communism — the difference between Paris in 1871
and Berlin in 1918. They may have read from the same book, but the pulse
in the blood was different.

Nation and History

A nation is an organic part of a Culture, it expresses by its life and

development a certain inner possibility of the Culture-soul. It is never
independent of the Culture, and this condition of dependence is shown by
the expression Spirit of the Age. It has long been recognized by thinkers and
men of action that there are certain things which simply must be done, others
which simply cannot be done, during a certain age. One may, or may not,
agree with these things with his intellect, but he must observe them. The
Spirit of the Age is the phase of development of the Culture. It subjects all
nations to it. Since each nation has its own character, and since each Age
has its own stamp, it follows that one nation may be more adapted to one
given Age than another. This is the explanation of why we have the Age of
“The Holy Roman Empire, German by nation,” 1050–1250, the Spanish
Age, 1500–1650, the French Rococo, 1650–1750, the English Age, 1750–
Within this framework of its own subjection to the Culture, the
Nation-Idea compels everything in its realm to submit to its force. Thus
each Western nation had its own type of social

behavior, its own articulation of society, sharp and clear in England, Prussia,
Spain, vague and nebulous in France and Italy. The religiousness of
England differed from that of Spain, both from Germany. The orientation to
economics is different in each place, strongest in England. Even in the field
of erotic, the nations are differentiated, and France is the nation that
developed the most elaborate culture of sexual love. Literature is distinctly
national, so is drama, so is architecture, so is even music. Philosophy did
not escape nationalization: the two greatest Western schools are the English
Sensualist school, 1600–1900, and the German Idealist school, 1650–1950.
Orientation to religious doctrines is different: Spain has been the stronghold
of Catholicity, England of Protestantism. The great men that have arisen in
the various nations have expressed national qualities at high potential: Think
of Richelieu, Cromwell, Alva, Wallenstein. An oil painting discloses the
nationality of its painter during the great era of Western painting, 1550–
It is thus easy to understand how Materialism could convince itself
that nations were the creators of Culture, instead of seeing the fact that it is
the reverse.
A Culture begins in Faith and Mysticism, with its thought-world and
its action-world both subject to self-evident order and authority. It develops
along the path of increasing intellectuality until it reaches the caesura of
Rationalism, when intellect frees itself entirely from faith and instinct,
analyzes, disintegrates, and mobilizes everything. In its very last stage, that
of Late Civilization, it gathers itself once more together, asserts its unity by
impressing all forms of its life with a final form which returns once more to
the symbolic Authority and Mysticism of its origins.
This biography of the Culture is traceable in every life-form,
including its nations.

The Culture created its nations through dynasties. The idea of a

dynasty is repulsive to the Classical Culture, unknown to the Arabian.
But Western nations, imbued with the unique force and intensity of
expression of the Western Culture are dynastic, even when they abolish a
dynasty. They either want another dynasty, or else they wish the dynastic
feeling to be freed from the personality of the sovereign. Dynasty is the
affirmation of political continuity from Past to Future. The political history
of the West from its origins is the history of dynasties.
The diverse tribes of Swabians, Franks, Saxons, Bavarians, and
Thüringians became united into the German nation through the dynastic
Empire-Idea, the creation of Karl der Grosse. Similarly the French people
and nation were formed by dynasties. Out of diverse Frankish and
Visigothic elements, the Capetian dynasty created a nation and a language.
If Dynasty had followed speech, there would have been two Frances:
Frankish-Romance France in the North, Provencal France in the South.
The Dynasties created the nations, by focusing these mystic feelings
onto a passionate symbol. The nations created Race and Language. The
Italian written language is attributable chiefly to Frederick II of the
Hohenstaufen dynasty, a German Emperor who preferred the South, and
caused this language to be used officially and socially in the Empire. The
Portugese people and language are the result of the fact that Alfonso VI of
Castile gave that territory as the marriage portion of his daughter to Henry of
Besancon in 1095. To this creation of a dynasty is due the fact that Brazil
speaks Portugese to-day. The House and kingdom of Lorraine came to an
end with the childlessness of Lothar II in the 9th century. Had his dynasty
continued, there probably had been a nation, people, language,

kingdom and State of Lotharingen in Western history. The English people,

nation and language are all the result of the Norman Conquest with its
founding of the House of Normandy which continues to this time. The
Prussian nation is the creation of the Hohenzollern dynasty, and the Austrian
was that of the Hapsburg.
The form of Western politics was always dynastic, and increasingly so
as the Culture attained to greater heights. The rhythmic cycles of great wars
took a dynastic form: a vacant throne somewhere called forth a Succession-
War. Even in 1870 the pretext which Napoleon III adopted for his war
against Prussia was a dynastic one. And the great Napoleon too, was
brought down by a millennium of dynastic tradition that he roused against
him by driving out old dynasties and putting his brothers and Marshals on
thrones as new dynasts.
In this stage of Western history the idea of the dynasty is only
apparently gone. A thousand-year Empire is itself a dynastic idea. The
genealogical continuity of the ruling house is merely a powerful symbol of
continuity. This symbol satisfies instinct. Western intellect demands this
same continuity during its reign, 1750–1950, but merely changes the
symbol: instead of a blood-stream of a royal House, it puts up a piece of
paper, a Constitution.
Readers in 2050 can see about them the final form of the expression
of Western dynastic feeling. In Rationalist times the symbol of the Royal
House became unsatisfactory, and was merely tolerated, if not abolished
altogether. The piece of paper was much more real to a Rationalist. Now
the piece of paper has become unsatisfactory, as History quietly submerges
Rationalism. We stand at the next epoch, that of Resurgence of Authority.

Nation and Rationalism

The national style of a High Culture is so strong that it pulls even

neighboring populations into its form. Examples of outer populations that
adopted the Western national style because of their geographical proximity
are the Balkans, Poland, Bohemia and Russia. This adoption is quite enough
to deceive certain elements in the Culture that these border-streams are
within the Culture-organism. This is strongly reinforced in the minds of
superficial people if, for instance, one or two highly gifted men from beyond
the border come under the spirit of the Culture and produce works of
thought, or deeds, in the Culture-style. The year 2050 will hardly believe
that Russia was referred to as a Western nation as late as the middle of the
20th century. This mistake was merely one of the results of the impact of
Rationalism on the Nation-style of the Culture.
Reason is the form of thought adopted to solving mechanical
problems, and cannot be applied to organic things, in its free, rootless form.
Thus to every organism there is a birth, and a death. For what reason? The
question is senseless from the

organic standpoint. Why must an organism die? No one can give a reason.
This refers, of course, to emancipated, inorganic, reason. Religion employs
reason, but within the framework of Faith. Emancipated reason —
Rationalism — recognizes no superior discipline, neither that of organic
regularities, nor beyond them, of Faith or Religion. But yet, the organism
dies, even though Rationalism loudly insists that it is not necessary. The
human life span of 70 years represents no logical necessity. It would not
offend logic if organisms were perpetual. This same unadaptability of logic
and reason to organic rhythms affects fundamentally the Nation-Idea during
the period of Rationalism.
The laboratory-logic which denied God and the human soul was
certainly not going to allow the Nation-Idea. The most it was willing to
concede was the existence of a great number of individuals. Actually this
pose was impossible for even the most intransigent rationalists to maintain,
and in their writings, they continually slip into figures of speech which
betray that they are thinking in terms of a higher Idea which is imminent in
each of these individuals.
Thus to Rationalism, Nation means — Mass. There must be no
articulation — no nobility, no clergy, no monarch, no group raised above the
others by virtue of its higher Idea-content. There is also no Idea which
forms all the individuals, even though there is the mechanico-logical concept
of the totality.
The concept of Nation-as-Mass is coeval with Democracy and Class
War. The three notions are merely different aspects of Rationalism. If the
nation is the mass, there should be no social stratification, and if the old-
traditional structure does not give way, one must make class-war against it.
Rationalism is born at the same time also as the decisive turn of
Culture toward Civilization, the fulfillment of the inner

form-world, and the unequivocal turning to activity as the prime content of

Life. This means the vast increase in the public power available to political
leaders, larger wars, more intense economics, more physical energy,
enormous development of technics. No Western thinker ever had a better
technical brain than Roger Bacon, or Leonardo da Vinci, but the technical
works of these men came in an age of inner activity, which regarded
technics as a branch of knowledge, not as a form of unleashing power for
industrial and war purposes. The Civilization expanded in power and in
extent. Anything opposing this organic rhythm was doomed to frustration
and defeat. The old traditions could only survive if they would take up the
new tendencies and lead them onward. This was done in England, but the
feat was not so remarkable as has been generally supposed, for the English
national-Idea was actually the vehicle of this change of direction from
Culture to Civilization. The Rationalist Idea was born in England. English
Sensualist philosophers enunciated its basic doctrines, English
parliamentarians applied them to theory of government, English technicians
invented the new power-unleashing machines, English merchants created the
forms of 19th century Capitalism, English thinkers first announced the idea
that the nation was the mass. The French Encyclopedists were all under
English influence, and many of them lived for years in England. Thus there
were plenty of persons in high places who were in contact with the new
ideas and felt the necessity of adopting them verbally.
The doom of Napoleon symbolizes the deep fact that he was both
representing and opposing this idea at the same time.
Rationalism could only say: the nation is the mass; it only denied the
articulation of the Nation. These nations were not yet dead, and could not be
denied. The emphasis passed to the external differences between the
nations, which means, political

differences. Nation becomes for the first time in Western history, primarily
a political idea. The word “nationalism” acquires an exclusively political
Nation had not been, even in Frederick the Great’s Wars, a purely
political thing. Under Frederick had fought Russians against Russia,
Frenchmen against France, Swedes against Sweden, Saxons fought both for
and against him. An early acquaintance of Frederick tendered to him his
military services. Frederick offered him a majority. Reluctantly the man
took service with an enemy army, because a colonelcy was available there.
Such conduct was not considered monstrous at that time. 19th century
interpretation of history — ignoring the soul and following the surface
continuity of names — merely took current politics and applied it
backwards. The foreigner was not liked during previous Western history,
but politics was not oriented to this one fact alone. Politics was a thing of
dynasty — or as in the case of the microscopic nations, revolt against
dynasty. German condottieri like Froberger, and English like Sir John
Hawkwood led foreign mercenaries in the wars in Italy. The German
Emperor Frederick II was more Italian than German, and found no difficulty
in being both politically. Allegiance was not a thing of geography of
birthplace, but of attachment, common destiny, oath, honor. Thus, treason in
those days did not refer to birthplace, but to obligation of honor. Not until
allegiance was given was honor involved. The great Emperor Charles V had
a German father, a Spanish mother, grew up in the Netherlands, was
educated by a Flemish churchman, whom he later appointed Pope Adrian
VI, spoke French as a native tongue, was King of Spain, and Holy Roman
Emperor. Spaniards had dukedoms in England, an English queen was
married to the King of Spain, the English King was Elector of Hanover.
Armies consisted of men of mixed nationality,

and commands changed often among generals of different nationality. It

suffices to mention Maurice de Saxe, Prinz Eugen, Marshal Conde,
Montecuculi. Dynastic-politics cut straight across nations, just as
nationalistic politics cut clean across dynasties.
But the old spiritual significance of Western nations was replaced by a
purely political one after the triumph of Rationalism. The linkage in those
days between the new idea of the nation-as-mass and nation-as-political
instead of dynastic